Preface and Acknowledgments. Chapter 1. The Mortal Wound. Chapter 2. Recognizing Death Anxiety. Chapter 3. The Awakening Experience. Chapter 4. The Power of Ideas. Chapter 5. Overcoming Death Terror Through Connection. Chapter 6. Death Awareness: A Memoir. Chapter 7. Addressing Death Anxiety: Advice for Therapists. Afterword. Notes. About the Author. A Reader's Guide to Staring at the Sun. Index.
Irvin D. Yalom is a highly regarded psychiatrist and the author of numerous books including the New York Times best-selling Love's Executioner and the international best-selling novel When Nietzsche Wept.
Psychiatrist Yalom (emeritus, Stanford Univ. Sch. of Medicine) is noted for his stories (Love's Executioner), novels (When Nietzsche Wept), and writing on group and existential psychotherapy. As the only creatures with foreknowledge of death-what Yalom calls "the mother of all religions"-we humans must find or create meaning within the limits of our existence. Yalom uses examples from therapy sessions, dreams, his own encounters with death, and his exchanges and experiences with his mentors and teachers to engage the reader in a compelling conversation among equals. The chapter titles "The Power of Ideas," "The Awakening Experience," "Overcoming Death Terror Through Connection," and "Advice for Therapists" indicate his approach: viewing death's shadow can save us from despair without the consolation of religion. At 75, Yalom proves to be at the prime of life as a therapist, a writer, and a quotidian soul. For adults and mature teens and likely to be a classic in the area of serious self-help and psychology; an essential library purchase.-E. James Lieberman, George Washington Univ. Sch. of Medicine, Washington, DC Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
The philosopher Martin Heidegger once remarked that we can live intensely only if we stare death in the face every moment of our lives. Bestselling psychiatrist Yalom (Love's Executioner) attempts to put this principle into practice in a sometimes thoughtful, often repetitious book. Drawing on literature and film, as well as conversations with his patients, Yalom demonstrates how the fear of retirement, concerns about changing jobs or moving to another city, or changes in family status (such as the empty nest) are rooted in our deepest, most inescapable fear: of death. Yet, he says, this anxiety can prompt an awakening to life and help us realize our connections to others and our influence on those around us. Through such experiences we can transcend our sense of "finiteness and transiency" and live in the here and now. In a final chapter, Yalom offers instructions for therapists seeking to help their patients overcome death anxiety. Although in the 1980s Yalom, now 76, provided new insights into the human psyche with his innovative method of "existential psychotherapy," this book recycles well-known philosophical insights, but Yalom's humane, calm voice may bring them to a new audience. (Feb.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.