Creatures of a Day

and Other Tales of Psychotherapy
Irvin Yalom
Scribe Publications 2015
ISBN 9781925106428


In his long and distinguished career, Irvin Yalom has pressed his patients and readers to grapple with life's two greatest challenges: that we all must die, and that each of us is responsible for leading a life worth living. In Creatures of a Day, he and his patients confront the difficulty of these challenges. In recounting his patients' dilemmas, Yalom not only gives us an enthralling glimpse into their personal desires and motivations but also tells us his own story as he struggles to reconcile his emotional life with the demands placed on him. With compassion and humility, he prods his patients to explore the anxiety, fear and vulnerability that accompany their thoughts about death. His patients are reticent, confused and frustrating, but also open, insightful and inspiring - from the former CEO struggling to adjust to life in a retirement home, to the young professional dealing with the loss of both of his parents, to the former ballerina realising that her days on the stage are far behind her.

Then there is the lonely writer with terminal cancer who spends her last weeks in Yalom's office, looking for someone to shepherd her through cancer's brutal accentuation of all life's 'pleasure and sweetness' even as it sweeps it away. Although these people have come to Yalom seeking relief, recognition or meaning, he and they discover that such things are rarely found in the place where we think to look. As documented through Yalom's masterful storytelling, Creatures of a Day shows that the process of psychotherapy can create some of the most engrossing human dramas imaginable. It provides an intelligent, compassionate, yet still unflinching look at the human soul and all the pain, confusion and hope that go with it. The power of these stories is amplified by Yalom's reflections on his own life as he reckons with its inevitable end. Suffused with humour, great artistry and a profound humanity, Creatures of a Day lays bare the necessary task we each face, each day, to make our own lives meaningful.

RRP: $27.95

Special Price $24.95