Irvin Yalom in Session: Gareth
by Irvin Yalom
Watch master therapist Irvin Yalom work in live sessions with Gareth, a 69 year old man who has struggled with anxiety most of his life, and is now facing his upcoming retirement with a sense of existential dread.

Part of the 4-video series: Irvin Yalom and the Art of Psychotherapy
“I find that I'm very anxious. That I have no idea what it is that I'm facing….I think I'm taking outwardly appropriate steps, but inwardly, you know, it's terra incognita.”

Thus begins Yalom’s poignant sessions with Gareth, a man who is frightened by what lies ahead for him in his retirement, and haunted by childhood traumas that continue to undermine him in his professional life today.

Yalom is right at home working with people facing existential crises, not only because he has spent much of his life studying, writing and pondering what he has described as life’s “existential givens,” but because he himself is in his mid 80s, facing the inevitability of his own death. For the first time ever, you’ll have a chance to see Irv working with a real client. In excerpts of two sessions with Gareth, you’ll learn how to incorporate the existential approach into your work with clients, what it means to work in the “here-and-now,” and witness how therapist authenticity and honesty can strengthen the therapeutic relationship. Indeed, you’ll be impressed with the depth of the work that Yalom and Gareth achieve in such a short time.

Save on the complete 4-video series!

What therapists are saying…

"Irvin Yalom and the Art of Psychotherapy is an informative look into what it actually looks like to practice Existential counseling. Yalom does a beautiful job at highlighting the importance of building relationship in session, being vulnerable with clients and taking a non-expert approach as a means to connecting on a human level and getting real work done alongside clients."

-- Heidi McKinley, PhD, LCPC, Human Development Clinic Director, Montana State University
"As a recently licensed therapist working with both groups and individuals, I felt like something was missing in my approach. Seeing Dr. Yalom in session really helped to illustrate how I could incorporate interpersonal and existential therapeutic techniques into my established style. I’ve already put the principles I learned into practice with my clients, and I would highly recommend these videos to any therapist looking to grow as a professional."

-- Alex Goldberg, LCSW
In Depth
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Gareth is the type of client many therapists cherish: he is bright, articulate, engaging, and quite motivated to find a way to reduce his distress. And yet…he presents certain challenges as well. He is insightful, and can speak easily about himself and his difficulties, often staying at a cognitive level, so it may feel that it is hard to break new ground with him. So it’s most interesting to witness first hand the various strategies Yalom uses to connect with him and help him gain some new perspectives.

There are several moving exchanges between these two men, both in the later stages of their lives. Any therapist who sees our work as helping clients navigate the challenges of the human condition will find these sessions riveting, and Yalom’s commentary illuminating. And if that’s not how you typically see therapy, perhaps you’ll reconsider!

Length of video: 00:56:02

Number of Discs: 1

English subtitles available on: Stream, DVD

This DVD plays in All Regions

Group ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-538-6

Group ISBN-13 #: 978-1-60124-538-0

Psychiatrist and author Irvin Yalom, MD has been a major figure in the field of psychotherapy since he first wrote The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy in 1970 (now in it's 5th edition). Other significant contributions have included Existential Psychotherapy, and NY Times Bestseller Loves Executioner and Other Tales of Psychotherapy. He has written four novels on psychotherapy: When Nietzsche Wept, Lying on the Couch, The Schopenhauer Cure, and The Spinoza Problem.  His works, translated into over 20 languages, have been widely read by therapists and non-therapists alike. Visit Dr. Yalom's website.


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CE credits: 1

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand how Yalom uses an "existential lens" in psychotherapy.
  • Describe how Yalom utilizes clients' dreams as a doorway to deeper understanding.
  • Witness the power of authenticity and self-disclosure in the therapy relationship.
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