am 15. Mai 2005
Dr. Yalom has created a collection of stories regarding ten patients and their experiences. What is unique about Dr. Yalom's writing is that he is free and open in describing his own feelings about and towards his patients. These cover a full range of emotions, including frustration, anger, disgust and empathy. Usually one reads about the patient, but in these encounters, Dr. Yalom almost bares as much of his own pathos as his patients and that can be unsettling.
One patient understands and is finally relieved of her eight-year obsession with a younger man, but is left with the reality of her own boring octogenarian life. Another regards a man who is dying of cancer and would like to rape all women, especially those in his therapy group. He is filled with anger, but finally understands how to change his human flaw before death. Yet another chapter is just called, "Fat lady" and this is one where Dr. Yalom really lets loose with his patient. He empathizes and completely understands her history and pain, yet readily admits to being disgusted by her appearance and was surprised that he could actually get his arms around her in a final hug.
Some may find his technique of psychotherapy obscenely honest, yet it does put the practitioner on the same plane as the patient. To many, that will be upsetting - to realize that the person helping you is only a human guide for your own journey towards "wellness".
am 22. Juni 2006
The first case presented by Dr Yalom is a seventy-year-old lady called Thelma who fell in love with her previous therapist Matthew 8 years ago and has thus to deal with the difficult ethical question whether a therapist should be allowed to seduce a patient or be seduced by the patient.
Carlos is virtually alone in the world and his obsession is to make love to as many women as possible, never twice to the same one.
Betty is an extremely obese, plain, boring and deeply depressed twenty-seven year old woman. Because the therapist may sometimes be rebuked by a patient's physical appearance, this gives the opportunity to the author to talk about the concepts of transference and countertransference.
Penny is a thirty-eight year old woman whose daughter died four years previously, whose husband abandoned her and whose son is in jail and the other hiding. She suffers from acute bereavement.
Elva had been traumatised and suffers from post-traumatic stress, she feels unsafe, has a reduced startle threshold and is hypervigilant.
Dave needs the therapist's help because he wants him to be the keeper of his love letters.
Marie remains frozen in grief three years after the death of her husband and the only way to help her is an attempt to be treated by a hypnotherapist.
Saul worked for a year at the Stockholm Research Institute and he is convinced that his research there was not really appreciated. When a first letter, then a second and a third arrive from the Institute, Saul is convinced that they are writing to him about the poor quality of his work and dares not open them. He then falls into a terrible depression.
Marge's own evaluation is that she is nothing, garbage, a creep, a cipher. When her therapist leaves the city after treating her for ten years, she seriously considers suicide...
And finally there is Marvin who at sixty-four starts developing disabling migraine headaches which result in impotence.
In each case, Dr Yalom carefully describes his work as a psychotherapist in order to help his patients overcome their problems. One can only feel a strong empathy with each individual sufferer and marvel at the technique and stratagems the therapist has to use to cure those troubled personalities.
am 16. April 2014
Es sind sehr interessante Geschichten über Menschen, ihre Schicksale und schrägen Bewältigungstechniken. Yalom beschreibt die Fälle sehr spannend und unterhaltsam. Dabei gibt er sehr viel preis, von dem was sich hinter den Kulissen und im Kopf des Therapeuten abspielt. Er berichtet von seinen langjährigen Erfahrungen, seinen Erkenntnissen und seinen eigenen Schwächen. Ein gutes Buch für alle, die sich für unser aller Innenleben interessieren und die keine Neigung zum Fremdschämen haben.