Love's Executioner I Do Not Like to Reaction Paper

Excerpt from Reaction Paper :

Love's Executioner

I do not like to work with patients who are in love. Perhaps it is because of envy… (Yalom)

I can understand the dilemma that Yalom proposes in the chapter named 'Love's Executioner." Love is associated with such positive emotions. Yet for some people, it is more of an infatuation instead that led to malignant thoughts and behaviors. Thelma had a love affair with her previous counselor. She spoke very fondly of him and his therapeutic practices as her face and gestures were highly animated. She look forward to each and every therapy session she had however eventually they stopped after the therapist (Matthew) took a new job. About a year later Thelma ran into Matthew in a public location. The two hit it off, talked all night, and eventually became intimate.

There intimacy developed quickly over a short period of time; especially for Thelma. They saw each other a handle full of times and the relationship seemed to be enjoyable for both parties. However, one day Matthew withdrew from contact for no apparent reason. Thelma tried desperately to reach him several times. Eventually she went directly to his new office to confront him; however Matthew told her that her relationship was "not right" and that he wished to end it. Later, Thelma
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was so distraught over the affair that she attempted suicide.

I love the approach that Dr. Yalom takes with his clients; that therapists are human too and they have similar experiences and feelings as their patients. He quotes Nietzsche and says that most philosophies develop from people's autobiographies. He relates this to his own personal development of his counseling practices; that his opinions on counseling have come from his own personal experiences. I believe what makes Yalom such an effective counselor is that he relates empathetically and genuinely with his patients.

Another aspect about his approach that I found interesting is the way that he viewed the patient and client relationship. He mentions that in different cultures the relationship is viewed in different ways. However, there is always some kind of union that has to be shared based on experience so that the relationship can flourish. For example, a therapist can share some of their own personal feelings and experiences that might be awkward or something you generally wouldn't share with just anyone. It's kind of like you have to offer some of your own personal history before you can build the type of relationship in which you can ask tough personal questions from others.

I seem to remember…

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