Mom and the meaning of life


Title: Mom and the meaning of life

Author: Erwin de Yalom

Translator: Somayeh Shahrabi Farahani

Publisher: Nik Farjam

Subject: Psychotherapist and patient

Another title: Mom and the meaning of life; Psychotherapy stories

Age category: Adult

Number of pages: 240

Language: Farsi

Categories: ,


Introducing the book Mom and the meaning of life by Ervin Yalom
The book Momma And The Meaning Of Life, originally entitled Erwin Yalom, was published in 2000. This book contains short stories and the result of years of Yalom psychotherapy. In the book Mom and the meaning of life, medical and philosophical concepts and topics are expressed in the form of sweet narrations.

Mom’s book and the meaning of life
Nothing affects human life like a story, something that Erwin Yalom, a prominent American writer and psychotherapist, is well aware of. Relying on science, theories, and years of experience in treating different people, Yalom has created short stories that are included in Mom and the Meaning of Life. Stories that show Ervin Yalom’s capable pen and his ability to convey psychological concepts in an engaging and readable format.

About Mom and the Meaning of Life, Psychotherapy Courses
Yalom tells the story of the book in his own language and tries to portray concepts such as responsibility, love and death to the general public with fluent and uncomplicated prose. By writing these stories, he confronts the reader of the book with the fears of healing that exist in society, and in the form of the story, he reviews the complex existential issues for the people of the age of technology.

By depicting the healing atmosphere in his stories, Ervin Yalom teaches empathic therapy through dialogue and does not portray his patients as external phenomena. The stories in this book are understandable and enjoyable for everyone because Yalom’s pen has been influenced by his years of relationship with humans.

Mom’s book stories and the meaning of life
The book Mom and the Meaning of Life, Psychotherapy Stories includes six stories: “Mom and the Meaning of Life”, “Companionship with Paula”, “Southern Type Relief”, “Seven Advanced Lessons in Mourning”, “Mutual Dream” and “Hungarian Cat Charm”. The first four stories are based on reality and the last two are written by Ervin Yalom based on his imagination. Through these stories, the author expresses the surprises and challenges of the patient-therapist relationship, which is an important achievement for psychology.

“Mom and the meaning of life” is the first story in the book, which is about the influence of the mother on the formation of the children’s personality. In this story, Ervin Yalom depicts the life of a writer who dreams of her mother after her death.
The woman, who hates her mother but is overshadowed by her after ten years of her life, says to herself: “Why should I shake his hand now that I have lived with him for years in constant enmity? He was selfish, repulsive, intrusive, skeptical, vindictive, extremely one-sided, and extremely ignorant. “I do not remember a single moment when I felt intimate with him.”

About Ervin Yalom, author of Mom and the Meaning of Life
From the beginning of history, all philosophers and commentators have sought to find fundamental answers to their questions about man, existence, and the afterlife. Ervin Yalom, along with other prominent people in the history of history, has written works that take the reader beyond the boundaries of existence. Using philosophical themes and themes in the form of novels and short stories, he has made a connection between the two fields of writing and psychology.

Irvin David Yalom Existentialist psychiatrist and psychotherapist was born in 1931 in Washington, DC. Yalom spent his childhood reading books and growing up in a family of corrupt Jews who immigrated to the United States.

He graduated in 1956 in Boston with a degree in medicine and in 1960 in New York with a degree in psychiatry. After graduating, he taught at Stanford University for many years and is known as the greatest existential therapist today.

Ervin Yalom’s works on the concepts of human existence
Ervin Yalom has written numerous works and in addition to being an influential figure in the science of psychoanalysis, he is also known among the people as a successful writer. This author has incorporated concepts such as the meaning of life, freedom, isolation and death, which are an integral part of human life.

He published his first work, Group Psychotherapy: From Theory to Practice, in 1970, and set out to write a story. His name became even more famous with the publication of a different book, Staring at the Sun, in 2008, in which Yalom wrote about people’s anxiety about death.
The author won the American Psychiatric Association Award in 2002 and has made a name for himself as a writer of psychological novels. One of the famous works of this author is the novel “When Nietzsche Wept” in which Ervin Yalom forms a dialogue between “Friedrich Nietzsche”, “Sigmund Freud” and “Joseph Brewer” in an imaginary atmosphere.

The author has received other honors and awards, including the Edward Starker Psychology Award from the University of Pennsylvania Department of Psychiatry and the American Psychiatric Association Award from the Foundation for Psychiatric Research.
Based on the life of Ervin Yalom, in 2003 a documentary called “Flight from Death” was made, which narrates different aspects of the author’s life. The author himself has also published his autobiography in the form of Becoming Myself’s book “Becoming Me”, which is subtitled the memoirs of a psychiatrist and the main title of Ervin’s biography. Yalom was published. In this book, he explores his character and life with his pen.

Other works by Ervin Yalom include “How I Became a Butterfly” translated by “Mina Fathi”, “Mortal Creatures and Other Psychotherapy Stories” translated by “Zahra Hosseinian” and “The Spinoza Problem” translated by “Bahareh Nobahar”.

In a section of Mom and the Meaning of Life, we read about psychotherapy:
As a medical student, I learned the subtle art of looking, listening, and touching. I looked at the red, inflamed throats, the swollen eardrums, and the twisted retinal arteries. I listened to the whistling of the mitral valve, the rumbling of the intestines, and the wheezing of the lungs. The slippery edge of the liver and spleen, the stiffness of the ovarian cysts, and the cancerous prostate barely touched the marble.

Learning about patients? Yes, that’s our job at the medical school. But learning from patients? This aspect of my higher education started much later. Perhaps my teacher, John Whitehorn, often started by saying, “Listen to your patients; Let them do it right. “To be wiser, you have to stay a student.” And he did not mean only the trivial fact that a good listener learns more about the patient. He meant precisely that we should allow patients to educate us.

Momma And The Meaning Of Life

John Whitehorn, a rude and polite man with a carefully crescent-shaped gray hair that bordered his shiny head, served for thirty years as a distinguished professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University.
He wore gold round glasses and had no extra features: not a single wrinkle could be seen on his face; He also wore his brown suit all year round (we guessed he should have two or three sets of suits in his closet). He did not have an extraordinary art of expression either: during the speech, except for the lips, the collar of his body parts, the hands, the cheeks, the eyebrows remain visibly still. During the third year of the residency, I and five other students visited patients with Dr. Whitehorn on Thursday afternoons.

Yalom is an existential psychoanalyst who deals with patients who are experiencing a crisis of meaning in their lives or who are unable to cope with the fears of their lives.

For example, in the book “Mom and the meaning of life”, death is a central issue.
In the book’s stories, the main characters, who are considered Yalom patients, each face some kind of death. Death is a strange concept in human life. Death is in a way the essence of human existence, and for this reason it contains a conflicting state, while human beings flee from this inevitable destiny as if they are getting closer to it every step of the way.

The mysterious existence of death frightens man. And each person in his individuality, tries to hang in a way with the fear of death, and the fruit of this struggle will be the meaning of life that the person has chosen for his life. Some consider death as a bitter end and a testimony to the emptiness of the world, some accept it and try to spend the essence of their lives on a mission, and some consider death as a license for pleasure and personal narrative, …

Some of these responses shake the structure of a person’s existence, this vibration can cause the individual to distance himself and his alienation from the world and society. Here Ervin Yalom confronts his patients in a conversational process so that they can look back and face their “here and now.” A confrontation that eventually tries to free a person from prison.
For example, in one of the stories in the book, Yalom tells the story of one of his female clients. The woman suddenly loses her husband and brother, and after this incident, she is isolated from society and even avoids contact with men, because after what happened to her, she thinks that a secret group, Lovely men take her life from him. In the long course of her treatment, Yalom confronts the woman with her fear of death, and the woman can finally break free from her former attitude and return to life.

Because from Yalom’s point of view, both the psychoanalyst and the patient are grappling with these profound existential issues, both the physician and the patient will learn from the patient.

He says in the book that he learned this lesson from one of his professors, John Whitehorn: “He often said, ‘Listen to your patients. Let them be right. “It was not uncommon for a good listener to learn more about the patient. He meant precisely that we should allow the patient to teach us.” (P. 33)
One of the answers that a Yalom patient gives to the “meaning of life” question is really impressive. Yalom patient Paula was suffering from advanced cancer with only a small chance of survival.

In a treatment plan, he was placed in a psychotherapy group so that he could accept his death and make the most of the little opportunity he had left. Paula saw her illness as a mission. She went to various high schools and advised students to give up alcohol and drugs. And he kept shouting in the hall, “Do you want to destroy your body? Kill him? Do you want to throw him down the Golden Gate Bridge? Doesn’t it hurt? Well, then give it to me! Let it be mine. I need it.” I am cutting ‌. I want to live! “(P. 50)
If you also refer to your memory. No doubt you have given different answers to the important questions of your life at different times. Let’s take a look at the amazing life-giving opportunity we have for free. In this sense, the book “Mom and the meaning of life” is a window into yourself and the other.

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