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The Schopenhauer Cure (2005)

by Irvin Yalom

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8591920,857 (3.8)6
Suddenly confronted with his own mortality after a routine checkup, eminent psychotherapist Julius Hertzfeld is forced to reexamine his life and work -- and seeks out Philip Slate, a sex addict whom he failed to help some twenty years earlier. Yet Philip claims to be cured -- miraculously transformed by the pessimistic teachings of German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer -- and is, himself, a philosophical counselor in training. Philip's dour, misanthropic stance compels Julius to invite Philip to join his intensive therapy group in exchange for tutoring on Schopenhauer. But with mere months left, life may be far too short to help Philip or to compete with him for the hearts and minds of the group members. And then again, it might be just long enough.… (more)
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English (11)  Dutch (4)  Spanish (2)  Lithuanian (1)  Arabic (1)  All languages (19)
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
spannender Roman, große Teile ĂƒÂŒber Gruppentherapie
  Klookschieter | Aug 18, 2020 |
Raporti mes njĂ« psikoterapisti dhe njĂ« pacienti, i cili nuk Ă«shtĂ« njĂ« person dosido por mbĂ«shtetĂ«s dhe njohĂ«s i filozofisĂ« sĂ« Shopenhauerit vjen nĂ« njĂ« rrĂ«fim brilian tĂ« Irvin D. Yalom. NĂ« njĂ« moment tĂ« dy kuptojnĂ« se kanĂ« nevojĂ« pĂ«r njĂ«ri-tjetrin. Pse?? KĂ«tĂ« marrĂ«dhĂ«nie tĂ« pazakontĂ« na e rrĂ«fen autori i romanit bestseller “Kur qau Niçja”. I tillĂ« Ă«shtĂ« edhe “Kura e Shopenhauerit”
  BibliotekaFeniks | Jul 16, 2020 |

“Live right, he reminded himself, and have faith that good things will flow from you even if you never learn of them.”
― Irvin D. Yalom, The Schopenhauer Cure

This book receives a five star rating not because the author is on the level with Vladimir Nabokov or Leo Tolstoy, but because this novel is a real page-turner and teaches as great deal about two topics: the dynamics of group psychotherapy and the illustrious nineteenth century philosopher, Arthur Schopenhauer. Highly recommended! Take this book with you when you travel by airplane or train and your six hour trip will seem like forty-five minutes - The Schopenhauer Cure is that riveting.

The novel opens with the main character, a seasoned sixty-five year old psychotherapist and leader of group therapy, Julius Hertzfeld, having been diagnosed with cancer and given a year of good health. So what to do with a year to live? Julius reviews his career as a therapist and asks himself if he had cured people or at least provided a degree of help. This self-examination leads Julius to unearth an old file going back twenty years of one patient who spent three years of therapy with him but the patient terminated treatment since what Julius had to offer was not helping. Julius calls the patient, Philip Slate by name, and requests a meeting for the purposes of research.

Turns out, Philip is a counselor himself as well as being a philosophy instructor at a local college. But Philip needs certification to continue his counseling. Without giving away too much of the novel's plot, it is enough to say Philip, as part of his certification process, becomes a new member of Julian's group therapy weekly gathering.

If you have never been part of group therapy, here is your unique opportunity to have the experience. Of course, your experience will be as a reader and not a participant, but, through the magic of the author's novel, you will have the feeling of being an actual member of the group. Not only will you come to know the men and women of the group and how they interact as part of the group, but you will be given the ongoing insights and observations that go through the mind of Julian as he acts as the group's psychotherapist. And the group has a certain energy that is shaken up and lifted with the entrance of Philip. After several sessions with Philip as the new member, the group energy is shaken up yet again with the return of Pam, who has spent a month in India at a meditation retreat.

Back on Philip. As a younger man he was a sex-fiend. That's why Philip was in therapy with Julius. Where psychotherapy with Julius didn't help, the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer did help, and Philip explains to everyone in the group how and why the philosophy of Schopenhauer worked and how Schopenhauer can help others. This leads the author to intersperse chapters in the novel about the life and philosophy of the great nineteenth century thinker, a thinker who had a profound influence on Sigmund Freud and thus psychology and psychotherapy. Schopenhauer didn't shy away from philosophizing about sexuality and other issues of the body; rather, his insights into nature's urges and energies are at the core of this thinking. Thus, the direct connection between what happens in the development of Schopenhauer's philosophy and what happens in the sessions of the group.

The cancer of the group's beloved friend and leader, Julius, adds a bond and emotional charge to all that happens in the group from week to week. To find out exactly how events unfold, please place an order for the novel today and read the first five pages. You will be hooked. You will want to continue reading and reading, nonstop till the end. Thank you Irvin D. Yalom for writing a fine novel and sharing your experience and wisdom as a group psychotherapist, as well providing a penetrating overview of one of the great philosophers in the Western tradition, who, as it turns out, was foundational in linking philosophy with psychology.

( )
  Glenn_Russell | Nov 13, 2018 |
VoilĂ  un livre dont j'avais un peu peur – oulala un livre psychologico-philosophique, oulala je vais rien comprendre, oulala vais-je y venir Ă  bout? - et puis aussitĂŽt commencĂ©, aussitĂŽt absorbĂ© par l'histoire: un parallĂšle entre un psy face Ă  sa mort prochaine et la vie et l'enseignement de Schopenhauer.
Les liaisons entre l'histoire présente et l'histoire de Schopenhauer se révÚlent petit à petit, l'histoire des relations entre le psy et les participants au groupe de thérapie qu'il anime se tisse, se détisse, se retisse, ça semble se compléxifier mais en fait ça se complÚte petit à petit, soutenue par les idées de Schopenhauer, philosophe des plus complexes, à la fois misanthrope et profondément humaniste, imbu de son propre savoir et coincé dans sa solitude.
J'ai Ă©tĂ© un peu gĂȘnĂ©e par l'approche que je ressens comme trĂšs amĂ©ricaine de la thĂ©rapie (entre congratulations en tous genres et fouille au corps des sentiments des uns et des autres), mais c'Ă©tait malgrĂ© tout trĂšs prenant.
En plus, j'ai lu en parallÚle (hé non, je n'ai pas lu ce livre d'une seule traite!) deux autres livres abordant le thÚme de la mort, sous un angle assez semblable mais des réactions et des personnages bien différents ([b: la belle aux oranges|25276869|Belle aux oranges (La)|Céline Romand-Monnier Jostein Gaarder|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1428066048s/25276869.jpg|45002845] de Jostein Gaarder et [b: l'ultime rivage|6759907|L'ultime rivage (Terremer, #3)|Ursula K. Le Guin|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1251292656s/6759907.jpg|1322014] de Ursula Le Guin), ce qui donne une résonance tout particuliÚre aux réflexions que m'inspire ce livre: un niveau supérieur de réflexion, d'autres points de vue, ça m'a bien fait mouliner les neurones!
Enfin, un autre point positif, tout n'est pas pré-mùché, tout n'est pas blanc ou noir, aucun avis définitif n'est vraiment donné sur Schopenhauer, des suppositions éventuellement, mais laissant toute liberté d'interprétation... ( )
  elisala | Feb 16, 2018 |
5 stars.

Page turner - check

Insightful - check

Compelling characters - check

I am not at the intellectual level of one Mr/ Yalom to properly review and explain this book. But it made me think. It made me think if I ask the right questions and how to understand my personal emotions. I had many a imaginary discussions in my head trying to figure out my place in this group psychotherapy.

You are engaged throughout and you agree and disagree with opinions and thoughts expressed in this book.

The information about Arthur Schopenhauer is beautifully framed. Very short passages in between the chapters giving a small taste and the big picture about what Schopenhauer stood for.

Yes this book might not be for everyone. I believe you need to have a taste and a need to be philosophical about certain concepts and ideas.

Thoroughly recommending it. ( )
  Fotis.Mystakopoulos | Jul 17, 2017 |
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Suddenly confronted with his own mortality after a routine checkup, eminent psychotherapist Julius Hertzfeld is forced to reexamine his life and work -- and seeks out Philip Slate, a sex addict whom he failed to help some twenty years earlier. Yet Philip claims to be cured -- miraculously transformed by the pessimistic teachings of German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer -- and is, himself, a philosophical counselor in training. Philip's dour, misanthropic stance compels Julius to invite Philip to join his intensive therapy group in exchange for tutoring on Schopenhauer. But with mere months left, life may be far too short to help Philip or to compete with him for the hearts and minds of the group members. And then again, it might be just long enough.

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An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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