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Ns are particularly relevant for psycho therapy the inevitability of death for each Of Us And For us and for we love the freedom to make our lives as we will our ultimate aloneness and finally the absence of any obvious meaning or sense to lifeWhen I recently read the novel LIFE AND FATE which takes its characters through #THE MASSIVE BATTLE OF STALINGRAD AND STALIN S GREAT #massive Battle of Stalingrad and Stalin s Great I couldn t help thinking how poor in material for great novels is the typical life of a prosperous well educated professional living today in the OECD Compared to the intensity of the experiences described in LIFE AND FATE even wonderful writers like Ian McEwan are boringBut as the Preface accurately foreshadows there is nothing boring about LOVE S EXECUTIONER because my friend is right the four issues described in the Preface do indeed define the human conditionIn a sense LOVE S EXECUTIONER offers in the broadest possible sense the ancient wisdom found in Psalms 90 Teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom Dr Yalom is uite frank about what he considers the magical thinking and delusion involved in religious belief however Aside from his commitment to unflinchingly acknowledge the truths he describes in his Preface and therefore Teach us to number our days Dr Yalom s faith resides in the healing potential of the relationship between the therapist and the patient This could be generalised to incorporate the Second Commandment to Love thy neighbour as thyself with its emphasis on human relationships and mutual openness but one Commandment to Love thy neighbour as thyself with its emphasis on human relationships and mutual openness but one that Dr Yalom would acknowledge this point at best with a sardonic shrug Whatever gets you through the nightYalom is his own main character and LOVE S EXECUTIONER is a dramatic account of how the character Dr Yalom undergoes dramatic encounters with deeply troubled characters not unlike the way the character Dante encounters vividly depicted souls in Hell Purgatory and ParadiseLike Dante s DIVINE COMEDY LOVE S EXECUTIONER is episodic The ten tales all vary and will affect individual reader s differently For some reason I found the case of the morbidly obsese woman deeply moving while being most unsettled by the cases of the elderly neurobiologist and the elderly accountant perhaps because they were the patients most similar to me REVIEW CONT D as COMMENT 1 Your therapist is udging you Sorry it sucks I know the idea is that they are objective observers looking out for your best interest rather than the often hypercritical dismissive average human being with a capacity for conversational boredom and bad advice but they re not Especially not Dr Yalom Dr Yalom hates fat peopl. Nting his patients' dilemmas Yalom not only gives us a rare and enthralling glimpse into their personal desires and motivations but also tells us his own story as he struggles to re. Love's Executioner Other Tales of PsychotherapyE he develops a sexual attraction to one of his patients multiple personalities and encourages her to incorporate this split self into her overarching self so she ll be a entertaining patient and won t be so pathetic in general he successfully convinces a lady to euthanize her incontinent dog in order to bolster her sex life erk he sizes #HIS PATIENTS UP AS HOPELESS HUMAN BEINGS RAMBLING ABOUT #patients up as hopeless human beings rambling about annoying certain cases were for him with details describing each individual while masking their identities to protect confidentiality in an almost Deconstructing Harry Leslie s not Lucy sort of way He is walking a lawsuit razor s edge and I wouldn t be the least bit surprised if one of these folks showed up at his house with a pistol There s not a chance in hell that I d go see him after reading this I mean he gets pretty catty pretty oh shut up you whiny little bitch He reaaally lays into that fat lady He calls people names He relays very personal veryvery embarrassing information and then scoffs at it As off putting as this is though it s also one of the things that make the book stick out Honesty One of the best scenes in the tv Hannibal is where Dr Lecter s most annoying patient is relaying a fantasy alternate reality where he saves Michael Jackson from death by being his best friend The look on Hannibal s face and condescending tone of his voice is priceless god you are insufferable blubbering excuse for a human being Cannibal or not shrinkydinks are ust people at the end of the day with the same penchant for annoyance as you or I the same neuroses and triggers Just people Your therapist is udging youTo Dr Yalom s credit he is not asserting that his preconceived notions about his past patients were fair or accurate This book is as much about the individual cases he has dealt with as about his growth as a psychiatrist his separating of his own prejudices from the therapeutic process In that sense it is both intriguing and kinda weirdly narcissistic This book seems less for people with a passing interest in psychotherapy and for future head docs who need to really understand that in their chosen field they are as much up against their inherent selves as they are the problems their patients are seeking #help facing The cases are mostly what d assume to be pretty #facing The cases are mostly what I d assume to be pretty but they still hold interest Well except for that last one where it was all about analyzing some dude s dreams because snooze I could fall asleep listening to my loved ones dreams let alone those of some average stranger It wasn t a waste of time at all but I m not sure I d recommend it Mostly because of that thing with the dog. Concile his all too human responses with his sensibility as a psychiatrist Not since Freud has an author done so much to clarify what goes on between a psychotherapist and a patient. This book gave a lot of #insights into the therapeutic process but I found the guy a total putz very self aware #into the therapeutic process but I found the guy a total putz very self aware His Own Reactions To own reactions to patients he describes but not so concerned about their own experience of the process that he wouldn t describe them in great detail to the world at large Also ust comes off as self satisfied it made the reading distasteful and I didn t finish in the end #I couldn t stand the supercilious sense he gives of being in some way better than his clients A fitting title #couldn t stand the supercilious sense he gives of being in some way better than his clients A fitting title be How counter transference insidious prejudice and sexism destroys the therapeutic process The man s a creep and from what I can tell in these vignettes a poor to average psychotherapist Though I can see how one could become seduced by his writings and spurious analysis to believe there is some insights to be gleamed from this book Executing love rationally Overcoming the fear of death Accepting one s mortalityPsychologists get some interesting tasks in their workdays don t theyThat s when I will be truly dead when I exist in no one s memory cI think my uarry is illusion I war against magic I believe that though illusion often cheers and comforts it ultimately and invariably weakens and constricts the spirit cI do not like to work with patients who are in love Perhaps it is because of envy I too crave enchantment Perhaps it is because love and psychotherapy are fundamentally incompatible The good therapist fights darkness and seeks illumination while romantic love is sustained by mystery and crumbles upon inspection I hate to be love s executioner cOne of the great paradoxes of life is that self awareness breeds anxiety cSome people are wish blocked knowing neither what they feel nor what they want Without opinions without impulses without inclinations they become parasites on the desires of others cPeople who feel empty never heal by merging with another incomplete person On the contrary two broken winged birds coupled into one make for clumsy flight No amount of patience will help it fly and ultimately each must be pried from the other and wounds separately splinted c the fear of death is always greatest in those who feel that they have not lived their life fully A good working formula is the unlived life or unrealized potential the greater one s death anxiety c X c A friend gave me this book a few days ago My friend is very well educated has lived all over the world and has experienced than most people When he gave me the book he said to me This book reflects my vision of the worldHow could I help but be intriguedOpening the book he then read the following passage from the Preface Four give. The collection of ten absorbing tales by master psychotherapist Irvin D Yalom uncovers the mysteries frustrations pathos and humor at the heart of the therapeutic encounter In recou.

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