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A Conversation with Irvin Yalom

Wednesday, 04 October 2017

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The School of Arts and Humanities are proud to be hosting the upcoming webinar event at ECU Joondalup and online - A Conversation with Irvin Yalom.

To review the accomplishments of Irvin D Yalom is to see more than a dozen fiction and nonfiction books, numerous prestigious awards and title of Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University. These accolades however, don’t explain the legion of devoted followers he has attracted to his thinking and practice over the last 50 years.

To understand the true impact of Irvin D Yalom on the field of psychotherapy, you have to look into and then beyond his impressive array of achievements and truly appreciate why his writings have resonated with generations of clinicians of all persuasions.

At first glance, one sees his ability to deconstruct complex human experiences, armed seemingly with just curious enquiry, underscored by a scythe-like sharpness, cutting through the defences guarding against interpersonal intimacy. On closer inspection, what really appeals is the fearlessness with which he steps into the interpersonal space between the patient and therapist. New readers will pause and re-read sections imploring them not to be afraid of touching their patient or to conduct house visits while being astonished at his honesty in sharing his most personal reactions to clients, while claiming that his most accomplished therapeutic moment was cataloguing the contents of a patient’s handbag. It’s with these observations and insights that the reader can see their own humanity and aspiring therapist self, fearlessly laid out at the intersection of the therapeutic alliance. These directions and disclosures stand in stark contrast to the sterile, modulised treatments that are found populating training programs wherever one cares to look.

But to truly understand the depth of reverence he holds in therapeutic circles, one has to understand the crisis psychotherapy is experiencing. Yalom has found himself being the bulwark between the creeping influence of economic pressures that spawn ever briefer manualised treatments and the practice of psychotherapy. Therapists of many persuasions who see that therapy is not a sequential 10 session affair are fortified when Yalom speaks or writes. It is this voice I am aiming to bring, talking about the clinical issues that you identify as being the most important to you.

Perth based Clinical Psychologist Dr. David Felton will interview Irvin Yalom and cover the following topics:

  • The role of traditionally taught assessment, formulation and treatment planning in therapy
  • Practical advice for the clinician who is expected to conduct therapy in 10 sessions
  • Managing boundaries between therapists and their clients
  • Dealing with the burdens that come with being a therapist
  • The effective use of dream content in therapy
  • Getting the balance right in therapist self-disclosure

Event details

A Conversation with Irvin Yalom
Date: Monday, 6 November 2017
Time: 9.00am (AWST)
Venue: Edith Cowan University Joondalup Campus. Building 32, Room 32.101
Cost: Students $50. Health Professionals $75
Registration: Please register your attendance and book your tickets online via the World Wide Webinars website.

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