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The Schopenhauer Cure: A Novel Paperback – January 3, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Having taken on the origins of psychotherapy in the popular When Nietzsche Wept, psychiatrist-novelist Yalom now turns to group therapy and the thinker sometimes known as the "philosopher of pessimism," in this meticulous, occasionally slow-moving book. Julius Hertzfeld, a successful therapist in San Francisco, is shocked by the news that he suffers from terminal cancer. Moved to reassess his life's work, he contacts Philip Slate, whose three years of therapy for sexual addiction Julius describes as an "old-time major-league failure." Philip is now training to be a therapist himself, guided by the writings of Arthur Schopenhauer, and he offers to teach Julius about Schopenhauer as a way of helping him deal with his looming death. Julius and Philip strike a deal: Julius will serve as Philip's clinical supervisor, but only if Philip joins the ongoing therapy group Julius leads. To complicate matters further, Pam, a group member, is one of the hundreds of women Philip seduced and then rejected. Yalom often refers to his books as "teaching novels," and his re-creation of a working therapy group is utterly convincing. At the same time, his approach can be overly documentary, as the inner workings of therapy, often repetitious and self-referential, absorb much of the novel's momentum. A parallel account of Schopenhauer's life sheds light on the philosopher's intellectual triumphs and emotional difficulties.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“A beautifully wrought tale of a therapy group’s final year and a moving debate about the end of life.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Considers the value and limits of therapy and those points at which philosophy and psychology converge.” (Washington Post)
“Yalom’s enthusiasm is contagious. And he certainly knows how to tell a page-turning story.” (Los Angeles Times)
“As a novel of ideas, this book effectively explores loss, sexual desire, and the search for meaning.” (Library Journal)
“Yalom’s melding of philosophy, pedantry, psychiatry and literature result in a surprisingly engaging novel of ideas.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
“The world’s first accurate group-therapy novel, a mezmerizing story of two men’s search for meaning.” (Greensboro News & Record)
“Meticulous. [Yalom’s] re-creation of a working therapy group is utterly convincing.” (Publishers Weekly)
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Schopenhauer Cure is a good way to learn group psycho-therapeutic practice. Reads like a novel (and it is) and shows that the therapist does his/her clients more good by being an integral part of the group rather than as a stone faced know-it-all. Yalom is definitely NOT a Freudian. His methodology is largely Existential/eclectic counseling. The fictional therapist in the book uses his own mortality along with a gentle but firm hand to help his beloved group help themselves. There is a newer member of the group who just doesn't see what is going on in the sessions and the challenge for the group and the therapist is to get the newcomer, Philip, to "get it" and heal himself
This book succeeds where textbooks often fail to get graduate students to truly understand the humanity in the work that we do with and for our clients.
and observant environment, guided by a professional who is vulnerable as well. Also, the background on Schopenhauer and other philosophers of the era is fascinating! I recommend this book highly to those interested in the meaning and purpose of life and relationships.
Dr. Yalom makes great use of the novel to present us with his theories regarding the role of existential issues in psychotherapy. He also does a great job of presenting psychotherapy as a long term process that is heavily dependent on the quality of interpersonal relationships, which is one of his tenets. I can see where anyone interested in psychotherapy for themselves could benefit from this experience. I could also see where students and practitioners of psychotherapy would benefit from reading this book. If I had to teach a class in psychotherapy I would denifinitely use this book. As for myself, I really enjoyed psychotherapy being presented in such a positive light.
Most recent customer reviews
I was attracted to this novel when it first came out in hardback in 2005 because, believe...Read more