Momma and the Meaning of Life: Tales of Psychotherapy (Paperback)

Momma and the Meaning of Life: Tales of Psychotherapy By Irvin D. Yalom Cover Image

Momma and the Meaning of Life: Tales of Psychotherapy (Paperback)

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Bestselling author of Love's Executioner and The Gift of Therapy, psychotherapist Irvin D. Yalom probes further into the mysteries of the therapeutic encounter in this entertaining and thoughtful collection.

In six enthralling stories drawn from his own clinical experience, Irvin D. Yalom once again proves himself an intrepid explorer of the human psyche as he guides his patients--and himself--toward transformation. With eloquent detail and sharp-eyed observation Yalom introduces us to a memorable cast of characters. Drifting through his dreams and trampling through his thoughts are Paula, Yalom's "courtesan of death"; Myrna, whose eavesdropping gives new meaning to patient confidentiality; Magnolia, into whose ample lap Yalom longs to pour his own sorrows, even as he strives to ease hers; and Momma--ill-tempered, overpowering, and suffocating her son with both love and disapproval.

A richly rewarding, almost illicit glimpse into the therapist's heart and mind, Momma and the Meaning of Life illuminates the unique potential of every human relationship.

Irvin D. Yalom, M.D., is one of the world’s foremost psychiatrists, a visionary therapist and internationally bestselling author. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Love’s Executioner, Momma and the Meaning of Life, When Nietzsche Wept, the Schopenhauer Cure, and most recently A Matter of Death and Life, a dual memoir written with his late wife, Marilyn Yalom, PhD. His textbooks Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy and Existential Therapy are standards for therapists in training worldwide. In 2014 he was the subject of the documentary Yalom's Cure. Now in his nineties, Dr. Yalom continues to live and write in Northern California.


Benjamin Yalom is a San Diego-based psychotherapist, with an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, who focuses on values, relationships, and existential concerns. He is a long-time writing collaborator with his father, Irvin D. Yalom. Prior to his doctoral studies in Marriage and Family Therapy, Ben was the visionary force behind foolsFURY theater, which helped transform San Francisco’s performing arts scene in the early 2000s. He is also an award-winning fiction writer. www.yalomtherapy.com

Product Details ISBN: 9780060958381
ISBN-10: 0060958383
Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics
Publication Date: July 28th, 2020
Pages: 272
Language: English

“These spellbinding tales of pain and of healing transport us into the very core of the therapeutic experience.” — Maggie Scarf, author of Intimate Worlds

“This is a chance to get inside the mind of a brilliant therapist and witness the soul breaking through. Like the first light of dawn, Momma and the Meaning of Life is warm, radiant and revealing.” — Mark Epstein, M.D., author of Thoughts Without a Thinker and Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart

“Unlike most psychotherapists, Yalom can tell a story and tell it so well that it is easy to forget that what one is reading is a distillation of weeks, months, even years of therapeutic work. . . . And Yalom does it with enviable openness and style.” — Times Literary Supplement (London)

“Yalom absorbingly recounts the resilience some patients bring to the task of healing themselves.” — Booklist

“[Yalom] again displays the great narrative drive and wit evident in Love’s Executioner. . . . These six engrossing narratives are very valuable gleanings from a master therapist’s professional and personal experience. — Kirkus