Irvin Yalom on Grief, Loss, and Growing Old
by Irvin Yalom
Join celebrated clinician and author Irvin Yalom at the existential crossroads of life and death in a riveting interview in which he offers invaluable personal and professional insights into the meaning of work, love and loss.
Irvin Yalom has steadfastly incorporated existential themes into his work, and thus is no stranger to death. With a career as a therapist, writer and educator that spans over six decades, he has helped many others grapple with issues of grief and loss. And yet never before has this topic become more personal than when, in 2019, his beloved wife Marilyn died. In this moving interview with Brazilian psychiatrist Daniel Barros, Yalom discusses the book he co-wrote with Marilyn in the final year of her life and his own deeply personal experience with mourning.

As Yalom explores this new and painful emotional terrain, he challenges us to question our own work with grieving patients by seeking deeper clarity into our own existential questions around life, death, and loss. And while he laments the unceasing forward march of memory loss, he models for us that despite growing frailty, there are fruits to harvest through ongoing intellectual endeavors and connection with loved ones. Regardless of where you are in your own life’s journey, Yalom’s reflections will inspire you to live fully with kindness and without regrets. 

Please note: This video is only available through our online course, Irvin Yalom and the Art of Psychotherapy.
In Depth
By leaning into this poignant conversation, you will appreciate how Yalom’s lifelong quest for self-understanding and his aching need for answers to fundamental questions of existence shaped his personal and professional identity. In the process, many of the challenging dilemmas with which both you and your clients contend will become far less daunting and more manageable.

You will appreciate how:
  • meeting patients in their natural environments through remote platforms can provide powerful connections and meaningful therapeutic gains, just as if we were sitting in the same room with them
  • in the face of our own losses, we may resist feelings of isolation and abandonment by reshaping our personal narratives around grief, and deepening connections with those who remain in our lives
  • even in the presence of aging, frailty and diminishment, pathways for productivity and fulfillment may yet be available to us
  • the arguments for physician-assisted suicide can be as compelling and comforting as those against it
  • teachings of the great philosophers like Spinoza, Nietzsche, and Schopenhauer have even greater relevance today for addressing important existential questions around living and dying; life and death
  • clinicians like Rollo May and Oliver Sacks offered illuminating insights into the the human mind and soul that are still relevant to today’s clinicians
  • COVID and its continuing aftershocks have left us with important insights and understanding of how individuals, families, and societies deal with death, dying and mortality
So come join Dr. Yalom and share in the bountiful harvest of his life’s work as you attempt to live your life to its fullest potential, and be the best clinician you can be. 

Length of video: 01:13:07

English subtitles available

Group ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-598-X

Group ISBN-13 #: 978-1-60124-598-4

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.

See all Irvin Yalom Videos

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