The collection of ten absorbing tales by master psychotherapist Irvin D. Yalom uncovers the mysteries, frustrations, pathos, and humor at the heart of the therapeutic encounter. In recounting his patients' dilemmas, Yalom not only gives us a rare and enthralling glimpse into their personal desires and motivations but also tells us his own story as he struggles to reconcile his all-too human responses with his sensibility as a psychiatrist. Not since Freud has an author done so much to clarify what goes on between a psychotherapist and a patient.
``It's the relationship that heals'' is a slogan psychotherapist Yalom claims as his ``professional rosary.'' In these 10 eloquent, engaging tales of personal transformation, each patient makes some headway in overcoming compulsions, depression, hyptertension or whatever--yet each also comes face to face with larger problems such as the inevitability of death or the existential need to give one's life meaning. Among those we get to know intimately are an isolated man who copes with terminal cancer by having promiscuous sex, an accountant who draws detailed graphs correlating his migraines with his bouts of impotence, and a taxicab driver still numbed by guilt and grief four years after her daughter's death. Yalom's humanism shines through in these wise, moving stories. Because he makes his own feelings and biases explicit, they become factors in the equation of therapeutic change. 50,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/ promo; author tour. (Sept.)