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Becoming Myself

A Psychiatrist's Memoir
Narrated by: Peter Berkrot
Length: 11 hrs and 18 mins
5 out of 5 stars (63 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Irvin D. Yalom has made a career of investigating the lives of others. In Becoming Myself, his long-awaited memoir, he turns his therapeutic eye on himself, delving into the relationships that shaped him and the groundbreaking work that made him famous.

The first-generation child of immigrant Russian Jews, Yalom grew up in a lower-class neighbourhood in Washington, DC. Determined to escape its confines, he set his sights on becoming a doctor. An incredible ascent followed: we witness his start at Stanford Medical School amid the cultural upheavals of the 1960s, his turn to writing fiction as a means of furthering his exploration of the human psyche and his rise to international prominence.

Yalom recounts his revolutionary work in group psychotherapy and how he became the foremost practitioner of existential psychotherapy, a method that draws on the wisdom of great thinkers over the ages. He reveals the inspiration for his many seminal books, including Love's Executioner and When Nietzche Wept, which meld psychology and philosophy to arrive at arresting new insights into the human condition.

Interweaving the stories of his most memorable patients with personal tales of love and regret, Becoming Myself brings listeners close to Yalom's therapeutic technique, his writing process and his family life.

©2017 Irvin Yalom (P)2017 Little, Brown Book Group

Critic Reviews

"When Yalom publishes something - anything - I buy it, and he never disappoints. He's an amazing storyteller, a gorgeous writer, a great, generous, compassionate thinker, and - quite rightly - one of the world's most influential mental healthcare practitioners." (Nicola Barker, Guardian Best Books of 2017)
"Wonderful, compelling and as insightful about its subject and about the times he lived in as you could hope for. A fabulous read." (Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone)

What members say

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Exceptional

I love Yalom and his memoir does not dissapoint. He remains true to his style and weaves many stories into his own.

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One of his best books!!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommended it to everyone. After listening to this audiobook, I feel inspired to go back and listen to all his previous books again.

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  • Roberto Miguel
  • 01-01-18

Thank you Irvin.

This book is my first encounter with Irvin’s work, and I could not thank him enough. It is like a met someone that will be my friend for life. So much wisdon and honesty in his words. What a man, what a life and what a book.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Nze kkuc akabusi
  • 11-01-17

Another Fabulous Piece of Work by Yalom

Just love it, it’s probably best if you have read most of his other work as he makes plenty of references there too. If so it is great to get his exposition and critical view. I am impressed that he keeps so close to his view of life after life, (the void, dark abyss, nothingness) the state of eternal unconsciousness experienced once before we entered this brief light of day. I get the sense at 85, this is his farewell, the ending of is quiet emotional and the culmination of many hints throughout this book. I did love the Nietzsche quote at the end wishing for eternal reoccurrence, and I felt the Yalom twinkle of the eye, and thought ...”you Rascal, so there is a little hope in you that Epicurus is wrong and a light might shine in the darkness!” Either way the rippling is definitely confirmed for a century or so before the last flicker is known no more. I certainly will remember Yalom for the rest of my days. Thank you 😊

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Christiana Iordanou
  • 02-14-19

Brilliant book!

One of the most beautiful books I have ever read/heard! So much wisdom in this brilliant man! May he be blessed! His work always inspires me to strive to be the best therapist I can be for my own patients. Thank you Professor Yalom!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Mirela Focsa
  • 04-16-19

you'll love it

such an inspirational story! you'll want to read more of his books and the narrator is very good

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Abz
  • 11-02-17

I was brought to tears at the end!

A fabulous overview of Yalom' s journey and his honest reflection of life events. One of my favourite books this year

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Maddy
  • 11-25-19

Fantastic book

I love Irvin Yalom and this, his final book, does not disappoint. There are so many gems in it. I can’t wait for paperback to be published so I can saviour the words.
At first I wasn’t so keen on Peter Berktot narration but a couple of chapters in I loved hearing him speak Irvin Yalom’s words bringing the pages alive.
Highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Harriet Clarke
  • 08-20-19

Immersive life story of therapist and writer

I'd only read 'Love's Executioner' before downloading this memoir which does a great job of connecting me to 'Irv' (yep, I know I don't know him but feel like I do!) at all stages of his life to now in his 80s. It presents how his own path (particularly but not only in relation to his work) developed and grew from the library books he read as a child, through to medical school, experiences of therapy, developments in group and existential therapy, developing as a practitioner and as a writer, and into continuing learning in his later life. A sign of how engrossing I found it is that there were times whilst I was listening on my commute I wanted to say something to Irv, to ask him questions, for instance to say 'hey could you just ask your wife how she felt about that' (especially when her career moved forward and he found it difficult to adjust)! This is because he is so open and reflective when there's the slightest gap or possibility for more exploration it makes me want to pause for more conversation with him. I have an interest in psychotherapy but would think it is only necessary to have an interest in engaging with ideas about how we experience ourselves, each other and the life course - so in people and relationships over time - to find that there is so much to enjoy here.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Aisha
  • 08-01-19

such a brilliant and well written book

I loved every chapter of this book. Off I go to read more of yaloms work

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Johan Rintamaa
  • 02-24-19

Totally engrossing and forthright

The best of from doctor Yalom, tears, laughs and reflections are in store if you go on this last journey with him.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-09-18

WOW

Having admired Yalom's work for sometime having the privilige of reading his autobiography was a gift. Yalom spreads a floodlight on his life with bravery and the complete honesty that Ide expect from a therapeutic genius. Rarely if ever have I read the life story where there wasnt anything, not a thing , I disliked about the man himself. The genuine nature of his reflections on his practice his family life and his childhood are not only a pleasure to read but a series of lessons from a true legend. Thanks Irv youve answered many of the questions I needed to ask but wasnt yet aware. 10/10 brilliant.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful