Becoming Myself: A Psychiatrist's Memoir by Irvin D. Yalom

Becoming Myself: A Psychiatrist's Memoir

Bestselling writer and psychotherapist Irvin D. Yalom puts himself on the couch in a lapidary memoirIrvin D. Yalom has made a career of investigating the lives of others. In this profound memoir, he turns his writing and his therapeutic eye on himself. He opens his story with a nightmare: He is twelve, and is riding his bike past the home of an acne-scarred girl. Like eve...

Title:Becoming Myself: A Psychiatrist's Memoir
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Edition Language:English

Becoming Myself: A Psychiatrist's Memoir Reviews

  • Isabel

    A autobiografia de um mestre: simples, sincero, erudito, despretensioso, profundo, humanista. Yalom, coloca aqui, na primeira pessoa, as angústias existenciais que sempre colocou na sua ficção, com uma coragem enorme, "de olhos fixos no sol", sem temer a intensidade dos reflexos dos seus medos, arrependimentos e sobretudo da aproximação da morte. Por vezes esta leitura dói, mas o prazer de ter esta companhia durante 325 páginas compensa muito.

    Nota muito negativa à edição da Saída de Emergência.

    A autobiografia de um mestre: simples, sincero, erudito, despretensioso, profundo, humanista. Yalom, coloca aqui, na primeira pessoa, as angústias existenciais que sempre colocou na sua ficção, com uma coragem enorme, "de olhos fixos no sol", sem temer a intensidade dos reflexos dos seus medos, arrependimentos e sobretudo da aproximação da morte. Por vezes esta leitura dói, mas o prazer de ter esta companhia durante 325 páginas compensa muito.

    Nota muito negativa à edição da Saída de Emergência. Mais uma vez apresenta página após página com erros de todo o tipo. Lamentável uma vez que deturpa a escrita, prejudica a qualidade da leitura, desrespeitando autor e leitores.

  • Evi

    Eigenlijk heb ik de review voor dit boek al half geschreven in de review van 'Het einde van de eenzaamheid'. Toen ik dat boek trachtte te lezen werd ik de hele tijd afgeleid door het boek van Yalom, omdat het me meer trok. Gaandeweg is de aandacht verschoven en kreeg het boek van Wells de aandacht die het verdiende. Dientengevolge verslapte de aandacht voor Yalom's boek, of - niet toevallig - trok het me minder? Een vijf sterren voor de verrassingen bij aanvang van het boek: de afkomst en eenzaa

    Eigenlijk heb ik de review voor dit boek al half geschreven in de review van 'Het einde van de eenzaamheid'. Toen ik dat boek trachtte te lezen werd ik de hele tijd afgeleid door het boek van Yalom, omdat het me meer trok. Gaandeweg is de aandacht verschoven en kreeg het boek van Wells de aandacht die het verdiende. Dientengevolge verslapte de aandacht voor Yalom's boek, of - niet toevallig - trok het me minder? Een vijf sterren voor de verrassingen bij aanvang van het boek: de afkomst en eenzaamheid van de schrijver (!), hoe het maar een haar geschollen heeft of hij werkte nauwer samen met Carl Rogers (!), zijn persoonlijke twijfel beslommeringen omtrent 'het niet maken in het leven' en de bijhorende strengheid naar zichzelf toe (!), zijn onthullingen over zijn eigen doodsangst (want laat ons wel wezen: de man schreef er niet voor niets zijn hele leven over). Ken dit boek en leer de persoon achter de auteur kennen. Gaandeweg kwam er echter minder 'nieuws', de boeken zijn gelezen, de visie is gekend, de volwassen auteur ook. De aandacht verslapte, ik begon weer een nieuwe roman te zoeken (die ik netjes pas begon zodra dit boek uit was). Eens hij de status van arts en professor had verworven had hij de luxe zijn leven in te delen zoals hij het beliefde: veel tijd om te schrijven, te mijmeren, te reizen (die afstanden!). De ijdele meer verwende auteur kenden we al uit latere boeken. Alle lof voor Yalom, daar niet van, maar minder boeiend, dat wel. De eeuwige oude foto op de achterflap vind ik ook wat jammer. Je bent geen 50 meer Yalom, gebruik dan ook een recentere foto. Ik blijf nu achter zonder één enkele onderlijnde zin in het boek (dus zo prachtig geschreven was het niet), maar met zeven kleine notavelletjes vol verwijzingen naar andere boeken, films, auteurs, professoren en psychiaters om verder uit te spitten. Yalom, dat van die rimpelingen heb je goed onder de knie. Vier sterren als eerbetoon. Nu op je 86ste misschien toch stilaan op pensioen?

  • Jean

    Yalom the Memoirist is not as engaging as Yalom the therapist. Read Love's Executioner instead

  • Heather Anne

    I very much enjoyed this book, so I feel obliged to explain why only 3 stars. Yes, the author covers his career in psychiatry and psychotherapy from the 1950s to the 2000s and how the field and his own practice has changed. Yes, he discusses his marriage, his children and his travels. Yes, I enjoyed his stories and found myself reminded of my favorite educated grandfather.

    But I found myself wanting more...likely I am used to biographers who are more indiscreet.

    Irvin is ethical and I get the stro

    I very much enjoyed this book, so I feel obliged to explain why only 3 stars. Yes, the author covers his career in psychiatry and psychotherapy from the 1950s to the 2000s and how the field and his own practice has changed. Yes, he discusses his marriage, his children and his travels. Yes, I enjoyed his stories and found myself reminded of my favorite educated grandfather.

    But I found myself wanting more...likely I am used to biographers who are more indiscreet.

    Irvin is ethical and I get the strong feeling that before writing anything negative about anyone he has checked with that person -- a great quality in a friend, but it makes for a less interesting biography.

    I felt there was excessive name dropping and perhaps too much discussion on matters like the relative popularity of his books in different countries when he went on book tours.

    He mentions briefly some interesting things, covers them in a sentence or two and then drops them. If you have read his other books and seen the documentary on him, you will notice repetition of ideas, stories and themes. Some of that is to be expected, however I was hoping for more depth.

    That said, if his wife ever writes her autobiography, I'd be interested in her perspective.

  • Lavinia P.

    “I once heard Saul Bellow say When a novelist is born the family is doomed”

    Cred ca asta e valabil pentru familia lui Knausgard, cea a lui Yalom nu are de ce sa isi faca probleme, el a avut grija sa ne prezinte o viata ca o carte postala, totul bine, frumos, niste conflicte cu mama, un mic conflict domestic cu sotia, cat pe ce sa duca la divort, dar rezolvat in mod misterios cu doua pastilute de Ecstasy, un masaj thailandez al carui final trebuie sa il ghicim noi si in rest pacienti, conferinte,

    “I once heard Saul Bellow say When a novelist is born the family is doomed”

    Cred ca asta e valabil pentru familia lui Knausgard, cea a lui Yalom nu are de ce sa isi faca probleme, el a avut grija sa ne prezinte o viata ca o carte postala, totul bine, frumos, niste conflicte cu mama, un mic conflict domestic cu sotia, cat pe ce sa duca la divort, dar rezolvat in mod misterios cu doua pastilute de Ecstasy, un masaj thailandez al carui final trebuie sa il ghicim noi si in rest pacienti, conferinte, excursii, o cautare spirituala simpatica in ashram, insa nicio chestie mai picanta pentru cei care s-ar fi asteptat la asa ceva. Abia spre final, dupa ce a fost tras de maneca de unii care i-au citit manuscrisul, incearca sa o mai aduca din condei ca nu a fost totul asa lin si roz, dar e cam tarziu.

    Mi-a placut cel mai mult partea in care povesteste despre cartile lui, insereaza povestioare despre pacienti si isi evoca prietenii, se pricepe mai bine sa vorbeasca despre altii. Acum as vrea sa-i recitesc cartile (daca el si le-a uitat, ba chiar e gelos pe eul sau tanar care scria atat de bine, sigur am uitat si eu mare parte din ele) si sa vad documentarul Yalom’s Cure.

    Sper sa urmeze modelul lui Neagu Djuvara (despre care am auzit ca scrie o noua carte de memorii, o astept cu nerabdare!), sa isi conserve cat mai bine memoria, sa traiasca peste 100 de ani si, desi spune ca aceasta e ultima lui carte, sa se intoarca la povestile terapeutice cu care m-a cucerit.

  • Joan Lieberman

    Dr. Yalom is an extremely talented psychiatrist and writer, whose earlier books, including "Love's Executioner" and "When Nietzsche Wept," were among my favorites. He wrote a dozen others that were widely read in the United States and Europe. In the first ten chapters of "Becoming Myself" he uses dialogues with his patients as entry devices to his own childhood. Born in Washington, D.C. to Russian Jewish immigrants, his parents worked extremely hard to create opportunities for Irvin and his olde

    Dr. Yalom is an extremely talented psychiatrist and writer, whose earlier books, including "Love's Executioner" and "When Nietzsche Wept," were among my favorites. He wrote a dozen others that were widely read in the United States and Europe. In the first ten chapters of "Becoming Myself" he uses dialogues with his patients as entry devices to his own childhood. Born in Washington, D.C. to Russian Jewish immigrants, his parents worked extremely hard to create opportunities for Irvin and his older sister, his only sibling. But as Yalom begins describing his adult life, he seems to be treading in the shallow waters of his professional successes, as if writing a narrative resume. Only in the final chapter, "A Novice at Growing Old"does Yalom return to the intimacy I had hoped to find. From his descriptions of his marriage and family life, Yalom appears to have had a remarkably stress-free adulthood -- one that includes a seemingly perfect marriage to his childhood sweetheart and easy and compliant children. He made me want to hear what they had to say.

  • Jt O'Neill

    I've enjoyed several of Irvin Yalom's previous books and was looking forward to this one. As it turns out, his storytelling in the memoir was flat when compared with his stories about his practice or compared to his novels. Most of this book read like a chronological listing of events with little details that bogged it down. There were bright sections where the author reflected more on his life but, for the most part, I found it easy to skim pages. When I am skimming pages, that tells me there i

    I've enjoyed several of Irvin Yalom's previous books and was looking forward to this one. As it turns out, his storytelling in the memoir was flat when compared with his stories about his practice or compared to his novels. Most of this book read like a chronological listing of events with little details that bogged it down. There were bright sections where the author reflected more on his life but, for the most part, I found it easy to skim pages. When I am skimming pages, that tells me there is nothing that grabs my attention enough to slow down and absorb. The bright sections were VERY bright but I wish more of the book would have been Dr Yalom's reflections on what it means to be a human being in today's world.

  • Keith

    For those who have followed Dr. Yalom, this is the book we've all been waiting for. Through the years; through his books on practice and then his novels; through his personal transparency; we have come to know him and somehow embrace our own humanity. In his most open and transparent book yet, we get a glimpse into the making of a reflective human being. We get to see Yalom with all his curves and edges. In doing so, we are invited into our own narrative. To explore a little more. To go a little

    For those who have followed Dr. Yalom, this is the book we've all been waiting for. Through the years; through his books on practice and then his novels; through his personal transparency; we have come to know him and somehow embrace our own humanity. In his most open and transparent book yet, we get a glimpse into the making of a reflective human being. We get to see Yalom with all his curves and edges. In doing so, we are invited into our own narrative. To explore a little more. To go a little deeper. To be a little more 'real'.

    As an added bonus, Irv opens the door a crack and allows us to peak behind the scenes at the development of each of his books. It was nice to see the inspiration behind his books on practice as well as behind the characters and narratives of his novels.

    Irv, thank you for allowing us to journey with you. You have been journeying with many of us through the years as we sought your insight and counsel by way of your writings. These were your gifts to us and we hope to pass these gifts along to those we cross paths with along the way.

  • Hakan

    yalom'un temsil ettiği psikiyatrist kimliğine, genel olarak doktor kimliğine, ihtiyacımız olduğunu ve bu ihtiyacımızın gün geçtikçe artacağını düşünüyorum. hepimiz hasta ya da hasta adayı olduğumuza göre yalom'un yazarlığıyla, elbette sacks gibi, başka örnekler gibi, dünyanın bir ucundan bize ulaşabilmesi sevindirici ve umut verici.

    yalom'un insan hikayesini esas alması, edebiyatın ve felsefenin birikimini somut olarak değerlendirmesi, bugün artık yokmuş sayılan varoluş sorunlarının, anlam arayı

    yalom'un temsil ettiği psikiyatrist kimliğine, genel olarak doktor kimliğine, ihtiyacımız olduğunu ve bu ihtiyacımızın gün geçtikçe artacağını düşünüyorum. hepimiz hasta ya da hasta adayı olduğumuza göre yalom'un yazarlığıyla, elbette sacks gibi, başka örnekler gibi, dünyanın bir ucundan bize ulaşabilmesi sevindirici ve umut verici.

    yalom'un insan hikayesini esas alması, edebiyatın ve felsefenin birikimini somut olarak değerlendirmesi, bugün artık yokmuş sayılan varoluş sorunlarının, anlam arayışının, yalnızlığın, yalıtılmışlığın üzerine gitmesi çok ama çok değerli. anıları maalesef bir veda mahiyetinde olsa da aslolan yazdıklarıyla bize ulaşmaya, hayatlarımıza dokunmaya devam edecek olması. kendisinin ölümle yüzleşmek kitabında anlattığı "dalgalanma" bu. öyleyse hem ne mutlu ona hem ne mutlu bize diye bitireyim şimdi.

  • Kathy Fitzner

    I enjoyed it. I tried not to have the same expectation for this book as for his other more technical books. He was honest about his memory lapses and aging issues which I felt was honorable. He had a very interesting life, one he looks back on thoughtfully and shares with the reader. I was especially impressed with his latter chapters on the texting therapy and Skyping and wanted to say, right on Dr Yalom, for keeping up with technology. I even learned something from that. His humor and good nat

    I enjoyed it. I tried not to have the same expectation for this book as for his other more technical books. He was honest about his memory lapses and aging issues which I felt was honorable. He had a very interesting life, one he looks back on thoughtfully and shares with the reader. I was especially impressed with his latter chapters on the texting therapy and Skyping and wanted to say, right on Dr Yalom, for keeping up with technology. I even learned something from that. His humor and good nature is on display as is his love and devotion to his family, friends, and his chosen profession. The one area I wanted to hear more about was his spiritual life, or lack thereof. A life as blessed as his, and a mind as inquisitive and searching as his, surely has more to say on the subject. All in all a good read about a life well lived.

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