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Momma and the Meaning of Life

Psychotherapist Irvin D. Yalom probes further into the mysteries of the therapeutic encounter in this entertaining and thoughtful follow-up to his bestselling Love's Executioner In six enthralling stories drawn from his own clinical experience, Irvin D. Yalom once again proves himself an intrepid explorer of the human psyche as he guides his patients--and himself--toward transformation. With eloquent detail and sharp-eyed observation Yalom introduces us to a memorable cast of characters. Drifting through his dreams and trampling through his thoughts are Paula, Yalom's "courtesan of death"; Myrna, whose eavesdropping gives new meaning to patient confidentiality; Magnolia, into whose ample lap Yalom longs to pour his own sorrows, even as he strives to ease hers; and Momma--ill-tempered, overpowering, and suffocating her son with both love and disapproval. A richly rewarding, almost illicit glimpse into the therapist's heart and mind, Momma and the Meaning of Life illuminates the unique potential of every human relationship.
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"This is a chance to get inside the mind of a brilliant therapist and witness the soul breaking through. Like the first light of dawn, "Momma and the Meaning of Life is warm, radiant and revealing."--Mark Epstein, M.D., author of "Thoughts Without a Thinker and "Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart"These spellbinding tales of pain and of healing transport us into the very core of the therapeutic experience."--Maggie Scarf, author of "Intimate Worlds"Irvin Yalom brings to these splendid tales of psychotherapy his rich experience as a therapist, his broad knowledge of philosophy and literature, and his profound humanity. He draws the reader into his stories with the same skill he uses to engage his patients in therapy."--David Spiegel, M.D., author of "Living Beyond Limits"A fascinating commentary on the bond between patient and therapist."--Nick Nolte"Ironic and self-aware, Irvin Yalom gently leads us to the brink of death, to the edge of madness, and to the depths of despair. Dr. Yalom makes the same compassionate agreement with we, his readers, as he does with his patients: To reveal himself fully and honestly so that together we may confront the bleak existential realities and bring meaning and richness to our lives. I'm sure his Momma would have been proud."--Harold Ramis, director and producer of "Analyze This"Irv Yalom continues to astonish us. Vitality, eloquence, wisdom, courage, and the capacity to listen and learn mark this book indelibly."--Leston Havens, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School and Cambridge Hospital"In every chapter, an epiphany, a tug at the heart or a gasp of realization. And 'The Hungarian Cat Curse' will be read aloud for decades, possiblyforever. This isn't a book'it's a gift. I only wish that Irvin Yalom lived next door."--William Peter Blatty, author of "The Exorcist"[Yalom] again displays the great narrative drive and wit evident in "Love's Executioner. . . . These six engrossing narratives are very valuable gleanings from a master therapist's professional and personal experience.?--"Kirkus"Yalom absorbingly recounts the resilience some patients bring to the task of healing themselves.""Booklist"Unlike most psychotherapists, Yalom can tell a story and tell it so well that it is easy to forget that what one is reading is a distillation of weeks, months, even years of therapeutic work. . . . And Yalom does it with enviable openness and style."--"Times Literary Supplement (London)

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