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Irvin Yalom

Irvin Yalom Quotes

Quotes by and about Irvin Yalom

(Continued from his main entry on the site.)

Yalom: "I prefer to think of my patients and myself as fellow travelers, a term that abolishes distinctions between 'them' (the afflicted) and 'us' (the healers). ... We are all in this together, and there is no therapist and no person immune to the inherent tragedies of existence."

Yalom: "Everyone - and that includes therapists as well as patients - is destined to experience not only the exhilaration of life, but also its inevitable darkness: Disillusionment, aging, illness, isolation, loss, meaninglessness, painful choices, and death."

Yalom: "It is difficult to deny the inbuilt despair in the life of every self-conscious individual."

Irvin Yalom

Yalom: "Too often, we therapists neglect our personal relationships. Our work becomes our life. At the end of our workday, having given so much of ourselves, we feel drained of desire for more relationship. Besides, patients are so grateful, so adoring, so idealizing, we therapists run the risk of becoming less appreciative of family members and friends, who fail to recognize our omniscience and excellence in all things."

Yalom: "Psychotherapy may be thought of as an alternating sequence of affect expression and affect analysis. In other words, you encourage acts of emotional expression but you always follow with reflection upon the emotions expressed."

Irvin Yalom

Yalom: "[When my patients criticize me they say] that I am ... withholding, rejecting, judgmental, cold and aloof."

Yalom: "When I was first exposed, at a Buddhist retreat, to the formal meditation of loving-kindness, I felt myself much at home."

Yalom: "We humans appear to be meaning-seeking creatures who have had the misfortune of being thrown into a world devoid of intrinsic meaning. ... The question of the meaning of life is, as the Buddha taught, not edifying. One must immerse oneself into the river of life and let the question drift away."

Yalom: "Erich Fromm's timeless monograph, 'The Art of Loving,' is a valuable resource for patient and therapist alike."