Irvin D. Yalom

Irvin D.
Yalom
1931

American Existentialist Psychiatrist, Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University, Fiction and Nonfiction Author

Author Quotes

Each time a goal is attained, it merely breeds additional needs. Thus more scurrying, more seeking, ad infinitum.

Four givens are particularly relevant for psycho-therapy: the inevitability of death for each of us and for those we love; the freedom to make our lives as we will; our ultimate aloneness; and, finally, the absence of any obvious meaning or sense to life.

His reputation? The no-bullshit doctor's doctor.

Absolute power, as we have always known, corrupts absolutely; it corrupts because it does not do the trick for the individual. Reality always creeps in--the reality of our helplessness and our mortality; the reality that, despite our reach for the stars, a creaturely fate awaits us.

Ask yourself, 'Who are the secure ones, the comfortable, the eternally cheerful?' I'll tell you the answer: only those with dull vision-the common people and the children.

Death cures psychoneurosis. In a sense all these neurotic concerns--fear of rejection, interpersonal concerns--seem to melt away, and people get another perspective on their lives. The important things are really important, and the trivia of life is trivialized.

Eighty-one is old, shockingly old. I'm shocked myself when I think about it. I do not feel old, and over and over I wonder how I got to be eighty-one. I always used to be the youngest kid-in my classes, on my summer camp baseball team, on the tennis team-and now suddenly I'm the oldest person anywhere I go-restaurants, movies, professional conferences. I cannot get used to it.

Four major existential concerns?death, meaning in life, isolation, and freedom?play a crucial role in the inner life of every human being.

His vehemence has lost its bite.

Author Picture
First Name
Irvin D.
Last Name
Yalom
Birth Date
1931
Bio

American Existentialist Psychiatrist, Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University, Fiction and Nonfiction Author