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Staring at the Sun: Overcoming the Terror of Death (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 15. Februar 2008


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Produktinformation

  • Gebundene Ausgabe: 320 Seiten
  • Verlag: John Wiley & Sons; Auflage: 1. Auflage (15. Februar 2008)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0787996688
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787996680
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 14,7 x 2,8 x 21,6 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (2 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 258.102 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
  • Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen

Mehr über den Autor

Als Sohn jüdisch-russischer Einwanderer wurde Irvin D. Yalom am 13. Juni 1931 in Washington, D. C., geboren. Während die Eltern mit dem Lebensmittelladen und dem ökonomischen Überleben beschäftigt waren, zog sich der Sohn von der verarmten und gewalttätigen Nachbarschaft in die Welt der Bücher zurück. Die Liebe für Geschichten und deren biographische Bedeutung beeinflusste seine Studienwahl: Medizin mit der Fachrichtung Psychiatrie. Sein erstes Fachbuch, "Theorie und Praxis der Gruppentherapie", enthielt zahlreiche biographische Fallvignetten, die den Band mit 700.000 Exemplaren zu einem Verkaufsschlager weit über Expertenkreise hinaus werden ließen. Yalom hat vier erwachsene Kinder und zahlreiche Enkel.

Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

"...Yalom's humane, calm voice may bring them to a new audience." (Publishers Weekly, November 5, 2007)

"Philosophical it is, but never arid with theory. Its lively chapters are populated with patients whose raw angst Yalom refines into vignettes that are always enlightening and often quite moving." (Washington Post, February 24, 2008)
 
The philosopher Martin Heidegger once remarked that we can live intensely only if we stare death in the face every moment of our lives. Bestselling psychiatrist Yalom (Love's Executioner) attempts to put this principle into practice in a sometimes thoughtful, often repetitious book. Drawing on literature and film, as well as conversations with his patients, Yalom demonstrates how the fear of retirement, concerns about changing jobs or moving to another city, or changes in family status (such as the empty nest) are rooted in our deepest, most inescapable fear: of death. Yet, he says, this anxiety can prompt an awakening to life and help us realize our connections to others and our influence on those around us. Through such experiences we can transcend our sense of "finiteness and transiency" and live in the here and now. In a final chapter, Yalom offers instructions for therapists seeking to help their patients overcome death anxiety. Although in the 1980s Yalom, now 76, provided new insights into the human psyche with his innovative method of "existential psychotherapy," this book recycles well-known philosophical insights, but Yalom's humane, calm voice may bring them to a new audience. (Feb.) (Publishers Weekly, November 5, 2007)
 
"Staring at the Sun is neither textbook nor mere self-help. Philosophical it is, but never arid with theory. Its lively chapters are populated with patients whose raw angst Yalom refines into vignettes that are always enlightening and often quite moving." -- Washington Post
 
"So what to do about the dread of death? ... [Yalom's] key prescriptions are true connections with others, a feeling one has lived well and "rippling" - having positive impacts and memories live on in others after you die. These deceptively obvious goals are, obviously, not easily attained: What thinking and feeling person truly lives a life with no regrets? But they are inarguably worthwhile ones." -- San Francisco Chronicle

Rezension

"Irv Yalom has written a beautiful and courageous book - a book that comforts even as it explores and confronts death. Yalom helps us understand that we must all come to grips with a paradox: The physicality of death destroys us; the idea of death saves us."
George Valliant, author of Aging Well, and Director of the Harvard Medical School Study of Adult Development

"Staring at the Sun is a thoughtful reinforcement of the stoicism that we all need in a time when babble and denial are all the rage."
Christopher Hitchens, author of God Is Not Great

"Staring at the Sun looks experientially and psycho-dynamically at our deepest fear, and describes with uncommon eloquence and deep humanity how we may arrive at a form of peace. The book is witty and kind and unflinching, a generous mediation that should give comfort to the dying and to those they leave behind."
Andrew Solomon, author, The Noonday Demon, winner of the National Book Award

"Irvin Yalom has written a brave, intelligent book on the last forbidden subject—death. I honor his courage and rare insight."
Erica Jong, author, Fear of Flying, Shylock’s Daughter, Inventing Memory, and Sappho’s Leap

"Yalom is the Scherherazade of the couch, his work a marvelous exercise in storytelling."
Laura Miller, New York Times

"This thoughtful treatment of the ultimate fear has much to offer people of faith, especially Western Christians. Instead of fearing death, which gave birth to religion itself, we can confront it in a true act of faith, and stop denying it through fantasies of immorality. This is a wise book by a wise man about the most taboo of all subjects. Read it, and fear not."
Robin Meyers, minister of Mayflower UCC Church of Oklahoma City, and author of Why the Christian Right is Wrong

"One of America's finest therapists guides us through one of life's most challenging tasks in this profoundly helpful book. It will benefit anyone who reads it."
Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen To Good People

"Irvin Yalom writes like an angel about the devils that besiege us."
Rollo May

"In Staring at the Sun, Dr. Yalom shares with us the problems of his patients linked to their mortality, his compassionate, healing insight into their death anxiety, and perhaps most movingly, his own feelings and personal experiences with death. While the existential realities of death, isolation, and meaningless may seem at first bleak and full of despair, Dr. Yalom's existential approach helps his readers frame these realities in positive and meaningful ways that foster personal growth and intensify our connections to others and to the world around us."
Harold Ramis, Actor, Writer and Director, Ghostbuster, Groundhog Day, and Analyze This


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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen

3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von eibage am 24. Juni 2008
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Das Buch ist für Laien wie Fachleute sehr wertvoll. Ich kenne nichts vergleichbares zum Thema. Sehr konkret, einfach, übersichtlich geschrieben, nicht abgehoben, sondern ganz um Verstehbarkeit bemüht. Eine Freude. Eigentlich ein "Muss" für alle, die beruflich mit Sterbenden oder Kranken zu tun haben. Nur die Fallgeschichten nerven ein bisschen, da ist das Buch zu "amerikanisch" und traut dem Leser zu wenig zu. Das Buch ist eigentlich auch eine Synopsis zu "Existential Psychotherapy" vom gleichen Autor. Angenehm ist die völlige Abwesenheit von esoterischem oder religiösem Gedankengut. Und es macht Hoffnung: Auch ohne Glaube oder Religion kann man dem Tod ins Auge schaun. Aufklärung im besten Sinne.
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Von Rainer Anders am 27. August 2008
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
In klaren,lebensbejahenden Sätzen adressiert Yalom die schwierige Problematik des Todes. Während in dem früheren Werk Die Schopenhauer-Kur die Problematik des nahenden Todes romanhaft dargestellt wird - ein anerkannter Psychotherapeut erfährt von seinem nahenden Lebensende -, nimmt Yalom in diesem Buch von verschiedenen Richtungen (allgemeine Überlegungen, Selbstreflexion, Patientenbeispiele, Empfehlungen für Therapeuten) aus sich des Themas an.
Auch wer über Sterbehilfe und postmortale Organspende (nicht direktes Thema von Yalom!) sich Gedanken macht, dem kann m.E. dieses Buch empfohlen werden.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 148 Rezensionen
59 von 61 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Don't fear the Reaper... 12. Januar 2008
Von Erik Olson - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
According to Irvin D. Yalom, people can be so consumed with their own mortality that they become crippled by "unmanageable death anxiety." This disorder manifests in ways that include anxiety attacks, bad dreams, and depression. Dr. Yalom believes that this is a key psychological problem, one that goes even deeper than Freud's emphasis on sexual repression. Therefore, he's based his practice on helping people overcome this issue and enjoy life to the fullest. I found "Staring at the Sun" to be an intriguing and readable book, not to mention helpful for my own battles with this issue.

It should be noted up front that the author is not religious. If his patient follows a certain faith, Dr. Yalom encourages his or her belief if it is helpful to the healing process. But he is a rationalist who is more in line with evolutionary thought and secular philosophy than with spiritual leanings. His treatment methods include guided dream interpretation, and encouraging awakening experiences as a form of existential shock therapy. Along those lines, Dr. Yalom advocates some of the philosophical teachings of Epicurus, Nietzsche, and Schopenhauer to help his patients come to terms with their mortality and cultivate the ability to "create the fate that [they] can love."

There is much to like about this book. I admired the author's candor about his own fears of impending death at the age of 76, and how his struggles have enabled him to help others in the same boat. In addition, I appreciated the personal touch he brings to his practice, including appropriate self-revelation and a commitment to help his patients even at inconvenient times. I got the sense that he truly cares about them, but still manages to maintain appropriate boundaries without being rigid or condescending. Finally, his tactics of "rippling" (positively influencing others with one's life), forming genuine connections with people, living free from regret (or using what regret you have to avoid more of it), and internalizing life-affirming philosophies to achieve a holistic strategy for living well makes sense to me. Indeed, if he practiced close by, I'd make an appointment with him.

However, I had a couple of minor blind spots with "Staring at the Sun." First, as part of treatment, the author recommends activities that his patients may already be doing - achievement, relationships, taking risks, etc. I inferred that internal motivation is the major defining factor here, but I wish he would've made that idea clearer. Along those lines, does eliminating death anxiety make one a better person? Changing selfishness to selflessness is a whole different ballgame. I'm not certain that curing the fear of death automatically makes one more altruistic. Nihilism is a danger here, especially if the patient takes a wrong turn into Nietzsche's darker corners. Also, he brought up some other tantalizing angles that I wanted to hear more about, such as the illusion of upward mobility. That's a key issue for men at midlife who are confronted with their mortality via physical decline and dwindling life options (like me).

In "Staring at the Sun," Dr. Yalom has done an excellent job of defining the fear of death as a key psychological health issue, and also creating a successful path of treatment. More importantly, he's made his ideas available to a wide audience in an interesting and accessible manner. Even the chapter dedicated to therapists is, as the author recommends, readable by laypersons - especially since it will help him or her avoid a bad shrink and select a good one instead.
73 von 78 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
For Those Readers Who Wish to Fully Live Their Lives Before They Die 5. Januar 2008
Von O. Brown - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
*****
"Staring at the Sun" is the eminent psychiatrist Irvin Yalom's latest book based upon the premise that not just many, but all of our fears---fears that on the surface seem to be something else---are in actuality, the fear of death.

However, this is not a depressing book. Understanding and accepting death anxiety can bring us to a greater appreciation of life. The author writes, "Death awareness may serve as an awakening experience, a profoundly useful catalyst for major life changes." The book explores how this might be.

The second to the last chapter of the book is a memoir of the author's own personal encounters with death anxiety and his reflections in anticipation of his own death. I found this chapter to be moving and poignant. The last chapter is written specifically for therapists. The entire book includes stories from the author's psychotherapeutic practice.

The print is large and easy to read. The book includes a reader's guide in the back that would be helpful for book clubs and self-help or other therapeutic groups.

I thought this book was wise above all, brave, human, personal, and inspirational without being religious or even spiritual.

Highly recommended.
*****
38 von 39 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
"The idea of death saves us." 27. November 2007
Von E. Bukowsky - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
In "Staring at the Sun," psychiatrist and Stanford University professor Irvin D. Yalom confronts one of humanity's greatest fears: the terror of death. Yalom, who is in his seventies, admits that he has pondered the psychological and philosophical implications of his own mortality. In addition, Dr. Yalom discusses his patients, many of whom have been shaken by the loss of a loved one, professional failures, or romantic disappointments. Their frustrations sometimes translate into a fear of death, because as we age, we may come to fear that we will never have enough time to accomplish our goals.

If we were to think constantly about death, it would be like "trying to stare at the sun in the face: You can stand only so much of it." Therefore, as a form of self-protection, many of us avoid the subject entirely. After all, we are busy enough attending to life's routines. Work, marriage, raising a family, making friends, cultivating hobbies, and participating in communal and charitable endeavors can take up a great deal of time. Why contemplate an unpleasant subject that can lead to unhappiness and depression? No matter how we may try to ignore it, however, certain life events bring death to the fore, such as a milestone birthday, a serious illness, divorce, retirement, or grown children leaving home. Any such transition can traumatize a vulnerable individual.

The author is a non-observant Jew who does not believe in a divine entity; therefore, he does not rely on religion for comfort. Instead, he turns to philosophers such as Epicurus, Nietzsche, and Schopenhauer for guidance. Those who worship a deity may be put off by Yalom's staunch secularism. Still, this book does offer a common sense approach that anyone can implement, no matter what his beliefs. Yalom advises us to spend our lives doing work that we love, so that we will not look back at our youth with regret; to reach out and form meaningful interpersonal relationships--connectedness reduces isolation; to be bold in making necessary lifestyle changes that can bring us greater contentment; to take comfort from the "rippling" effect of our good deeds. Live in the moment, he urges, and make each day count. This seems like obvious advice, but common sense is anything but common; Yalom reminds us of behaviors that we may mean to adopt but, for some reason, do not.

Dr. Yalom puts great store in the power of dreams to reveal the secrets locked in our subconscious minds. He recounts and analyzes his own as well as his patients' dreams, discussing at length how many of us grapple with our fear of death symbolically. Yalom analyzes the imagery of dreams, and he uses the knowledge gained from this analysis to work out his clients' emotional issues in a therapeutic setting.

Knowing that we are all destined to die can motivate us to focus more on our everyday lives. If we take our mortality seriously, we are more likely to use the time we have left productively. St. Augustine said, "It is only in the face of death that a man's self is born." Power, money, honors, and possessions cannot protect us from the fate that awaits us all. Yalom advises us to "keep in mind the advantage of remaining aware of death, of hugging its shadow to you. Such awareness can integrate the darkness with your spark of life and enhance your life while you still have it." It is never too late, Yalom asserts, to "make substantial positive changes."

"Staring at the Sun" is a beautiful gift given by a thoughtful and compassionate man to those of us who are receptive to his words. Rather than plunging into existential despair or having plastic surgery in an attempt to recapture our lost youth, we can choose to celebrate the years that we have left by living them as well as we can. "Staring at the Sun" is an eloquent, literate, and deeply personal book by a humane and compassionate therapist who is not too proud to admit his own vulnerabilities. Irvin Yalom truly lives by the famous words of the Roman writer, Terence: "Nothing human is alien to me."
17 von 18 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Interesting case studies on the fear of death and anxiety 10. Februar 2008
Von Ratmammy - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
STARING AT THE SUN: OVERCOMING THE TERROR OF DEATH by Irvin D Yalom
February 9, 2008

Rating 4/5 stars

Having been told I have anxiety disorder and learning that this equated to a fear of death, I jumped at the opportunity to read STARING AT THE SUN. This is my first book by Irvin D Yalom, and I was very impressed with the contents and writing style of a topic that can be pretty heavy duty. Yalom discusses anxiety and the fear of death by throwing in examples from the patients he's known, each of them having diverse symptoms and traits, but all of them having a fear of death. A lot of what he went over I already knew from therapy, and it was good to see it all in print. He also talks of methods to use to help overcome this fear, helping many of us to cope with daily anxiety and to learn to relax and live life as if THERE IS A TOMORROW.

Case studies include a woman who fears death by stating that she had so many things to do before she died. It's a classic case, in which I can relate to, where one cannot relax until one's ever growing to-do lists are completed. It's the unlived life that many fear, the fear of not accomplishing everything one had meant to do throughout a life time, but for some they feel this life may end too soon, thus the anxiety to finish things before it's too late.

Others begin to have anxiety after the death of someone close, possibly a husband or a close friend. Often times any life-changing event can set off anxiety. In each case, Yalom gives explicit details of a particular patient, using a very reader-friendly voice that most readers will feel comfortable with.

The only chapter that I felt was not as reader-friendly was the last, in which he warns the reader that this particular chapter is aimed at therapists. It is still helpful to read this last chapter, but I felt my eyes were glazing over at times, as it was a little too technical for me.

I found STARING AT THE SUN a fascinating and informative book regarding anxiety and the fear of death. While I may have a long way to go in conquering my own fears, I feel that this book was helpful enough in that it confirmed a lot of what I've learned about anxiety over the past nine months or so. I definitely recommend STARING AT THE SUN.
16 von 17 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A Book About Death That Will Change Your Perspective on Life 1. Dezember 2007
Von D. Buxman - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
I was expecting this book to be somewhat heavy and depressing, but I was pleasantly surprised. If you want some sugar-coated platitudes about the afterlife, don't buy this book. If you are looking for advice on making the most out of life by coming to grips with your own mortality, this book is for you. Many Buddhist teachings ask us to contemplate our own deaths as a way of developing compassion, and this can be a very difficult process. The rewards, however, are tremendous. Dr. Yalom takes an existential view of mortality and discusses tools that we can use to come to grips with death and step out of its shadow by making the most of the time we are given. The book is filled with anecdotes from he author's psychotherapy practice and I especially enjoyed his analysis of his own feelings about death. Although the author doesn't believe in an afterlife, he does not denigrate those who do, but rather suggests that we are all better served by reaching out to others and making connections with humanity that will ripple through time and the lives of others who may be only remotely connected to us today. I was uplifted by this book and would have given it ten stars if I could. This is one of the few books that you will find has the potential to change your life.
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