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Publisher's Summary

From the best-selling author of Love's Executioner and When Nietzsche Wept comes a provocative exploration of the unusual relationships three therapists form with their patients.

Seymour is a therapist of the old school who blurs the boundary of sexual propriety with one of his clients. Marshal, who is haunted by his own obsessive-compulsive behaviors, is troubled by the role money plays in his dealings with his patients. Finally, there is Ernest Lash. Driven by his sincere desire to help and his faith in psychoanalysis, he invents a radically new approach to therapy - a totally open and honest relationship with a patient that threatens to have devastating results.

Exposing the many lies told on and off the psychoanalyst's couch, Lying on the Couch gives listeners a tantalizing, almost illicit glimpse at what their therapists might really be thinking during their sessions. Fascinating, engrossing, and relentlessly intelligent, it ultimately moves listeners with a denouement of surprising humanity and redemptive faith.

©2014 Irvin D. Yalom (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Story

Fresh Fun!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Irvin D. Yalom holds the subject matter of psychology in a fresh, fun (and, yes, fictional) light. This alluring, seductive story is fresh and mature and down right interesting. Husbands and wives and gamblers and shysters and the whole kit-and-caboodle-- including psychologists-- spend their share of time on the couch. The characters are timid and feisty and right and wrong-- and Yalom skillfully interweaves their deceits and truths and varying perspectives to create a tapestry of seriously good story telling. There’s not a lot of “action,” just interesting, likable people and relatable problems and some happy endings. This book is loaded with snob-free intelligence and (I have to say it again)-- FUN.

Narrator Tony Pasqualini did a terrific job complimenting this delicious piece of work.

47 of 52 people found this review helpful

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great!

a great cast of characters that were surprisingly intermingled! interesting how things turned out. amazing narrator!

23 of 26 people found this review helpful

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captivating story

Good narrator
Interesting character's
Clever weaving of characters into each other's lives
Anyone who has read Irvin's other books will appreciate this

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

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Intense interwoven plot with multiple 1st person internal thoughts

I would recommend this to psychotherapists, particularly guys, who need to remind themselves of the pitfalls of working so closely with human beings. This story shows how we cannot afford to be naive about our own nor others' weaknesses.

21 of 24 people found this review helpful

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Well, I finished it

Really not a bad tale, tiresome in parts, cynical, predictable in some ways, but with occasional surprises. Really tough on analytic psychologists and humans in general. I had to finish it to see if it would come out as I expected. It did. Doubt I would read any other books by this author.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Not what I expected

Any additional comments?

I have read 3 other books from Yalom, the love's executioner, I am calling the police and Creatures of the day and this book wasn't anything similar
I guess I enjoy his books when they are true stories
I left this book half way through, because I couldn't handle it anymore
All the deception and anger and lies....
I felt there was a lot of negativity in the book

43 of 51 people found this review helpful

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great book!

wish there was a sequel! would make a great tv series. as a therapist this is an excellent training manual.

20 of 24 people found this review helpful

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Dramatic satire

This grand satire on psychotherapy came out in 2014. It focuses on the lives of a few interlinked psychotherapists in San Francisco. 

The principle thread of the book is transference and countertransference, the sometimes erotic attachment that can build between a patient and therapist or vice versa. The book opens with one therapist talking to another about an incident in which a beautiful woman patient claimed to have fallen in love with him. The therapist, at 71, decided to accept the woman's passion and reciprocate as a part of therapy. The therapist is now facing expulsion by the local institute of psychotherapy.

The novel then follows the therapist listening to this story, Ernest, as well as two others through their relationships with patients and peers. Ernest is targeted by a woman who was married to a man Ernest had been treating and has now demanded a divorce. She tries to entrap Ernest in a sexual relationship. Young Seymour is a new therapist still being supervised who believes in trying to bring new and creative methods to a profession that accepts new ideas slowly. Marshal is a therapist who is obsessed with his income and investments and risks his standing when he accepts an investment tip from a patient. 

It's an interesting portrait of a profession and it becomes clear that, for all the various concerns the doctors may have, one that seldom comes up is whether a patient is being helped. Trained in methods that can take years many see their incomes endangered by insurance companies who limit visits to 5 or 6 a year. Some have given up therapy to do medication management. In all cases they find daily challenges to their oaths and integrity through daily interaction with people at their most emotionally vulnerable. 

To add to these stresses are the politics of any profession in seeking more prestige than peers, either through income or position in professional associations. Because of the limits of insurance and the cost of therapy it has, in most cases, become a treatment for the rich, making some therapists feel out of place with or envious of the people they treat.

At times it's a sexy book, at other times it reads like a crime story or a revenge tale as each doctor faces various demons in himself and his patients. The book as a whole is a hilarious portrait of people working within a field that is torn between modern medicine and its roots in Freud and Jung. It's sophisticated and perfectly paced and one of those books that book clubs are made to devour.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Mathew
  • Moruzzo, Italy
  • 01-28-17

A stimulus towards inner reflection

My first -- but not last -- book by this author, it provides insight into how a brilliant psychoanalyst (the author himself, as well as his main character) can discover the inner motivations for the way we think and act. All this is done within a fabric of fine humor and even elements of adventure and suspense. I cannot exaggerate how much I enjoyed this work. The reading was rather slow and awkward and I set the controls to 1.25x.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Loved it!

Intriguing and fun all together.
Deals with many aspects of counselor/client relationship.
You will not regret!!!!

14 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-07-17

Exciting and captivating

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

great read, well written and good narration.

What did you like best about this story?

Is clinically relevant as well as the story being captivating.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

When marshall goes to the poker room and points out shellys " give aways"

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

made me reflect on my personal experiences.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • michael j sheedy
  • 01-26-18

Pearls of wisdom from a natural storyteller

Another clever, witty and insightful offering from Dr Yalom. I have read / listened to all of his books and this one is up there with the best - bravo!

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  • kasia
  • 10-26-17

fascinating read for any therapist

i loved and cherished every word. what a learning adventure! a must read for any therapist

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  • Sharonh
  • 08-03-17

Bookbum

Good book but not sure novels are Yaloms strength. Good easy listen though and great characters.

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  • AGGELOS IOAKIMIDES
  • 08-03-17

It has interesting angles

It is true, it is not a psychology book. It has some insights and dad, and how psychology in modern therapy concepts have a evolved from uncle Freud, but it talks mostly about the contemporary necessity of the therapist being honest and present, and our emotional status being fully unlocked mate are existential subconscious worries.