The Gift of Therapy: An Open Letter to a New Generation of Therapists and Their Patients (P.S.)

The Gift of Therapy: An Open Letter to a New Generation of Therapists and Their Patients (P.S.)

The culmination of master psychiatrist Dr. Irvin D. Yalom’s more than thirty-five years in clinical practice, The Gift of Therapy is a remarkable and essential guidebook that illustrates through real case studies how patients and therapists alike can get the most out of therapy. The bestselling author of Love’s Executioner shares his uniquely fresh approach and the valuable insights he has gained—presented as eighty-five personal and provocative “tips for beginner therapists,” including:

  • Let the patient matter to you
  • Acknowledge your errors
  • Create a new therapy for each patient
  • Do home visits
  • (Almost) never make decisions for the patient
  • Freud was not always wrong

A book aimed at enriching the therapeutic process for a new generation of patients and counselors, Yalom’s Gift of Therapy is an entertaining, informative, and insightful read for anyone with an interest in the subject.

Speaking directly to the current generation of counselors, The Gift of Therapy lays out simple suggestions that blend personal experience with professional objectivity. This is a book that will remind you why you entered the field in the first place. With tips on avoiding diagnosis (except for insurance purposes), when to disclose personal information, and why it’s important to leave time between patient appointments, the recommendations are aimed at therapists, but they may be useful to patients who want to know what to expect from their counselors. Some references to the DSM-IV may be a little over the layperson’s head, but in general the writing is clear and understandable for lay readers as well as professionals.

Each chapter is just a few pages long, a nice format for busy folks whose reading time occurs in snippets. A single topic is addressed in each chapter, and author Irvin Yalom doesn’t waste any time in getting to the point. Many of the sections revolve around balancing the “magic, mystery, and authority” that come with the job of freeing your clients of their reliance on you.

From when to offer an occasional hug to finding the perfect time for deeper questioning, Yalom’s experienced observations will help you achieve even greater professional effectiveness while avoiding some of the more obvious traps in this HMO-directed age of mental health care. –Jill Lightner

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Dolores Maggiore, LCSW Therapy and Counseling in Southwest Portland I work to help strengthen the positive experience of your relationships. Together we explore your feelings and examine what may be keeping you stuck in some aspects of your life. I see young, old, straight, gay/queer, of all genders, cultures, abilities and capacities. I experience us all grappling with the same needs: to feel connection and security, to allow ourselves and others to honor the vulnerability and strengths, the dependency and the autonomy necessary in our relationships. I work to help strengthen the positive in clients’ relationships through an exploration of feelings and issues which may be keeping clients stuck in uncomfortable positions. • Children/adolescents in school and home-related issues: attachment, blended and adoptive families, divorce, identity, sexual and gender issues, learning issues, parenting. • Cross-cultural, minority, GLBTQQ •Depression, anxiety, transitions, grief, abuse • Relationships •Play Therapy/DBT/EMDR-level 1 .- Certified Gottman Educator – Bringing Baby Home: couples transitioning to parenthood and attunement training; Couples counseling: Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (Sue Johnson externship), Gottman, Imago. Populations Served: Adolescent 12-19, Adolescent 15-19, Adults, Child 0-4, Child 5-11, Gay, Lesbian, Spanish Speaking Office Settings: Private Practice (solo) Specialty Training: EMDR Imago Couples Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy Extern (Susan Johnson) Gottman (couples
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