ePUB Irvin D. Yalom ☆ ePUB Existential Psychotherapy PDF/EPUB ✓ ☆ 3q1.co

The noted Stanford University psychiatrist distills the essence of a wide range of therapies into a masterful creative synthesis opening up a new way of understanding each person's confrontation with four ultimate concerns isolation meaninglessness death and freedom


10 thoughts on “Existential Psychotherapy

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    I love this book I've heard people again and again make the assertion that philosophy and in particular existential philosophy has no real life down to earth practical use Well Irvin Yalom's Existential Psychotherapy proves that to be falseYalom draws on the insights of existentialism in order to formulate an approach to psychotherapy that is grounded in the ultimate concerns of life namely the concerns of death freedom existential isolation and meaninglessness These concerns Yalom reports are part of the ontological foundation of human existence and it is our struggle with these issues that characterizes many of our neurotic difficulties We often avoid thinking about these things consciously because they provoke dread in us but Yalom insists as do all the great existentialist philosophers confronting these issues is absolutely crucial in the quest toward authenticity Ultimately there is nothing that we can do about the fact that we will die that we are responsible for our own choices that we are alone among others and that we must cobble together our own form of meaning in life These are just facts about the nature of human existence What we can do however is to grab hold of our situation face it and dive into the flow of life rather than allowing ourselves to become cynical and detached from the worldThe one aspect of Yalom's book that puzzles me is his treatment of meaninglessness In the rest of this work Yalom suggests that facing the reality of the human condition head on is key to becoming psychologically healthy mature and authentic However when it comes to the issue of meaninglessness Yalom suggests that the therapist help patients to look away from the question rather than grappling with it directly p 483 His point is that in all of its manifestations the experience of meaninglessness is rooted in the fact that meaning does not exist ready made waiting to be discovered as a part of the world Meaning as existential philosophy tells us is something that humans confer upon the world The person who becomes too focused on the question What is the meaning of life? runs the risk of thinking that there is a potential answer to this question on par with questions such as What is 11? or What is the definition of the word dog? This of course would be a delusion and inevitably leads to despair and disappointment Better then claims Yalom to avoid this particular question and instead invest energy and effort into actually making life meaningful by becoming engaged in the flow of lifeI understand Yalom's point however I do think there is something positive to be gained by directly confronting the issue of the meaninglessness While there may be practical utility attached to diverting one's attention from the world's lack of intrinsic meaning there is I think a greater degree of existential wisdom to be gained by meditating upon just this situation I fully disagree with Yalom's characterization of nihilism in particular as a kind of existential sickness Heidegger suggests in his book on Nietzsche that there is nothing necessarily negative about nihilism and with this I agree Nihilism is not a sickness but an ontological condition in which humans desire a meaningless world to exhibit meaning Understanding this rather than simply looking away from the situation is I think a necessary part of living authentically and fully accepting our own responsibility for pursuing the life projects that we choose The danger of simply throwing one's self into the flow of life without first questioning why we are doing so is to run the risk of forgetting an important feature of the human condition Since nihilism is part of the human experience I think it is something that we can and should learn from Any time that we are encouraged to think deeply about the fundamental aspects of our being in the world we alleviate at least some of our self alienation The hasty rush to overcome nihilism may harbor its own kinds of destructive consequencesNonetheless as stated above I love this book It is clear well written and deeply insightful Especially today when it is common for people to seek quick fixes to their psychological troubles through drugs and gimmicks than through deep philosophical reflection Yalom's message is very important