I am a lover of Yalom books. I’ve likely read more of his work than any other author. So it’s no surprise my last major purchase from Amazon included one of his books. I had read about, “Every Day Gets A Little Closer: A Twice-told Therapy” in other books of his. The idea interested me a great deal.
It is the actual account of a woman in therapy, who has writer’s block. She doesn’t do well in one of Yalom’s groups, and they make a deal for individual therapy which includes her writing about each session. He also writes his thoughts of each session, and there you have the book. If you’ve ever been in therapy, or are a therapist, it’s an interesting idea.
The book gives insight into both the therapist’s mind, as well as the thoughts that are likely in many long-term clients’ minds. I read it slowly, covering a session every couple of nights.
Overall I was a bit disappointed in the book. I believe my disappointment is largely due to having exceedingly high expectations. I definitely saw reflections of my own work in therapy in it; I gained insight and felt Yalom exposes the therapist mind in a way few have the confidence to, yet I was mildly disappointed.
I can’t put my finger on a definitive reason, and as such, I’ll simply reflect some of what occurs to me.
The therapy (and book) takes place in the 70’s. Some of the scenery and terminology becomes nostalgic. This is a drawback. I wanted more from the client. She skips a few days, and admits throughout the book she isn’t “real” in therapy, or in the writing. Although it would be nearly miraculous for a client to express such honesty to their therapist (considering unconscious defense mechanisms), I suppose I expected it. This doesn’t have to be such a drawback, as it is expected, and a trained eye can see beyond what she is saying anyhow. But, as I said, I guess I wanted more from her.
Otherwise the book is unique in its attempt to illuminate the process of therapy for both the therapist (as Yalom has done well in “Love’s Executioner”) and the client. I still recommend the book, despite my disappointments.