Irvin D. Yalom

Irvin David Yalom (b. June 13th 1931 in Washington DC), M.D., is an author of fiction and nonfiction, Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University, an existentialist, and accomplished psychotherapist.

After graduating from Boston University School of Medicine in 1956 he went on to complete his internship at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York and his residency at the Phipps Clinic of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and completed his training in 1960. After two years of Army service at Tripler General Hospital in Honolulu, Dr. Yalom began his academic career at Stanford University. He was appointed to the faculty in 1963 and then promoted over the next several years and granted tenure in 1968. Soon after this period he made some of his most lasting contributions by teaching about group psychotherapy and developing his model of existential psychotherapy

In addition to his scholarly, non-fiction writing, Dr. Yalom has produced a number of novels and also experimented with writing techniques. In "Everyday Gets a Little Closer" Dr. Yalom invited a patient to co-write about the experience of therapy. The book has two distinct voices which are looking at the same experience in alternating sections. Dr. Yalom's works have been used as collegiate textbooks and standard reading for psychology students. His new and unique view of the patient/client relationship has been added to curriculum in Psychology programs at such schools as John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City.

The American Psychiatric Association awarded Irvin Yalom the 2000 Oscar Pfister prize (for important contributions to religion and psychiatry.)





  • (1970 1st ed, 1975 2nd ed., 2005 5th ed.) The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy
  • (1974) Every Day Gets a Little Closer
  • (1980) Existential Psychotherapy
  • (1983) Inpatient Group Psychotherapy
  • (1989) Love's Executioner and Other Tales of Psychotherapy
  • (1998) The Yalom Reader
  • (1999) Momma and the Meaning of Life
  • (2001) The Gift of Therapy: An Open Letter to a New Generation of Therapists and Their Patients
  • (2008) Staring at the Sun: Overcoming the Terror of Death

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