Love’s Executioner offers us the humane and extraordinary insight of renowned psychiatrist Irvin D. Yalom into the lives of ten of his patients – and through them into the minds of us all
Why was Saul tormented by three unopened letters from Stockholm? What made Thelma spend her whole life raking over a long-past love affair? How did Carlos’s macho fantasies help him deal with terminal cancer?
In this engrossing book, Irvin Yalom gives detailed and deeply affecting accounts of his work with these and seven other patients. Deep down, all of them were suffering from the basic human anxieties – isolation, fear of death or freedom, a sense of the meaninglessness of life – that none of us can escape completely. And yet, as the case histories make touchingly clear, it is only by facing such anxieties head on that we can hope to come to terms with them and develop. Throughout, Dr Jalom remains refreshingly frank about his own errors and prejudices; his book provides a rare glimpse into the consulting room of a master therapist.
‘Dr Yalom demonstrates once again that in the right hands, the stuff of therapy has the interest of the richest and most inventive fiction’ Eva Hoffman, New York Times
‘These remarkably moving and instructive tales of the psychiatric encounter bring the reader into novel territories of the mind – and the landscape is truly unforgettable’ Maggie Scarf
‘Love’s Executioner is one of those rare books that suggests both the mystery and the poetry of the psychotherapeutic process. The best therapists are at least partly poets. With this riveting and beautifully written book, Irvin Yalom has joined their ranks’ Erica Jong
‘Dr Yalom offers a valuable insight into the delicate process of therapy’ Sunday Telegraph
‘Dr Yalom is unusually honest, both with his patients and about himself’ Anthony Storr
‘Yalom is a gifted storyteller, and from the sound of these tales, a no-less-gifted psychotherapist’ Los Angeles Times