Cover image for Creatures of a day : and other tales of psychotherapy
Creatures of a day : and other tales of psychotherapy
Yalom, Irvin D., 1931- , author.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Basic Books, a member of the Perseus Books Group, [2015]
Physical Description:
vii, 215 pages ; 22 cm
"Yalom describes his patients' struggles-- as well as his own-- to come to terms with the two great challenges of existence: how to have a meaningful life, and how to reckon with its inevitable end"--Dust jacket flap.
The crooked cure -- On being real -- Arabesque -- Thank you, Molly -- Don't fence me in -- Show some class for your kids -- You must give up the hope for a better past -- Get your own damn fatal illness : homage to Ellie -- Three cries -- Creatures of a day.
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Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library RC480.5 .Y33 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
Audubon Library RC480.5 .Y33 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Kenmore Library RC480.5 .Y33 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Orchard Park Library RC480.5 .Y33 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Julia Boyer Reinstein Library RC480.5 .Y33 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



"The publication of Creatures of a Day is reason to celebrate." --Steven Pinker
In this stunning collection of stories, renowned psychiatrist Irvin D. Yalom describes his patients' struggles--as well as his own--to come to terms with the two great challenges of existence: how to have a meaningful life yet reckon with its inevitable end. We meet a nurse who must stifle the pain of losing her son in order to comfort her patients' pains, a newly minted psychologist whose studies damage her treasured memories of a lost friend, and a man whose rejection of psychological inquiry forces even Yalom himself into a crisis of confidence.
Creatures of a Day is a radically honest statement about the difficulties of human life, but also a celebration of some of the finest fruits--love, family, friendship--it can offer. Marcus Aurelius has written that "we are all creatures of a day." With Yalom as our guide, we will find the means to make our own day not only bearable, but also meaningful and joyful.

Author Notes

Irvin D. Yalom was born in Washington, D.C. on June 13, 1931, of parents who immigrated from Russia shortly after World War I. Yalom entered into medical school intent on studying the field of psychiatry. His first writings were scientific contributions to professional journals. His first book, "The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy" was widely used as a text for training therapists. It has been translated into twelve languages and spawned four editions.

"Existential Psychotherapy" followed, which was a textbook for a course that did not exist at the time, and then "Inpatient Group Psychotherapy," a guide to leading groups in the inpatient psychiatric ward. In an effort to teach aspects of Existential Therapy, Yalom turned to a literary conveyance and wrote a book of therapy tales called "Love's Executioner", two teaching novels, "When Nietzsche Wept" and "Lying on the Couch" and, "Momma and the Meaning of Life," a collection of true and fictionalized tales of therapy.

These books went on to be best sellers, and "When Nietzsche Wept" won the Commonwealth Gold Medal for best fiction of 1993. They have been widely translated,each into about fifteen to twenty languages, and have had considerable distribution abroad.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Novelist and psychiatrist Yalom (The Spinoza Problem) offers 10 tales from his clients that illuminate the gifts of psychotherapy, particularly the hopeful lessons one can glean from it in the context of aging and death. He steers away from the riddle-like tales of strange human behavior found in comparable books like Stephen Grosz's The Examined Life, and instead lingers on his patients and his reactions to them. The title, drawn from Marcus Aurelius, hints at the book's primary concern, which is mortality. Ellie struggles with terminal cancer and wants to be a "pioneer of dying." Rick, a successful businessman, enjoys a luxurious existence in a retirement community that only underlines the impending end of his life. Despite this focus on death, Yalom also has genuinely inspiring insights to share about the value of therapy, such as his certainty "that if I can create a genuine and caring environment, my patients will find the help they need, often in marvelous ways." The stories Yalom offers of his patients' failures and triumphs are frequently moving and will invoke the reader's empathy. Agent: Sandy Dijkstra, Sandy Dijkstra Literary Agency. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Review

Starred Review. Psychiatrist Yalom (emeritus, psychiatry, Stanford Univ.; Love's Executioner; When Nietzsche Wept) here offers ten cases-five each, men and women, disguised for privacy-that illustrate his humane, straightforward approach to psychotherapy. Personal, honest, sensitive, and respectful, Yalom, now in his 80s, describes frustration and mistakes amid much success. His combination of confidence and humility shows how these qualities work in psychotherapy-a process too often burdened with theory and/or mystique. Rare is the therapist equally at home with art and science: "improvising-as I marvel at the complexities and unpredictability of human thought and behavior-.if I can create a genuine and caring environment my patients will find the help they need, often in marvelous ways I could never have predicted." One chapter is titled "You Must Give Up the Hope for a Better Past." VERDICT This book will inspire therapists at any stage along with lay readers intrigued by the psyche, relationships, and the possibilities of change.-E. James Lieberman, George Washington Univ. Sch. of Medicine, Washington, DC (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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