April’s Book of the Month: Letter to the New Professional

“…it has always struck me as an extraordinary privilege to belong to the venerable and honorable guild of healers….who have, since the beginning of time, ministered to human despair.” 

Dr. Irvin D. Yalom

April is Counseling Awareness Month, which the American Counseling Association describes as a time dedicated to “focus[ing] on the central role that professional counselors across workplace settings play in keeping people and communities healthy.” The Feelings Healers is committed not only to the counseling profession, but to caring for and engaging with our community, which makes this month’s installment of Book of The Month the perfect opportunity to celebrate the counseling profession and the individuals who have dedicated their careers to its work!

From One Generation to the Next

This month’s book of focus is The Gift of Therapy: An Open Letter to a New Generation of Therapists and Their Patients by Dr. Irvin Yalom. Dr. Yalom is an existential psychiatrist and Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University, as well as an author of both fiction and nonfiction. With a career that spans over six decades of psychiatric care, professorship, private practice, and other literary pursuits, Dr. Yalom has cultivated a deeply nuanced and diverse clinical perspective, which he offers in The Gift of Therapy as an informal guidebook to new counselors and their clients alike. 

Connecting with Counselor Identity

The Gift of Therapy details Dr. Yalom’s reflections on a wide variety of themes associated with enriching therapeutic connection—as denoted by pithy chapter titles such as “All is Grist for the Here-and-Now Mill” and “Feedback: Strike While the Iron Is Cold”—and is bolstered by Yalom’s ability to weave clinical insight, anecdotal narration, and literary metatext into fluid and digestible prose. This text has been an invaluable reference point for me as a new clinician, as Dr. Yalom’s voice is not merely entertaining and informative, but wholly human and applicable to the nature of counselor development and therapeutic dialogue across various clinical settings and modalities. It’s a book that I have written in and bookmarked and highlighted time and again, and will likely continue to as both my practice and I evolve.

Learn More

Interested in exploring a unique perspective on the therapeutic process? The Gift of Therapy is a rich and accessible text that features insight worth exploring for clinicians at every stage of their careers. Check it out!

Keep scrolling to our related titles list below if you’re interested in learning more about counseling and psychotherapy from other clinicians and theorists, all of which can also be found on the “For Mental Health Professionals” shelf in our BookShop!

Related Readings

Find these similar books on the web and on our BookShop!

by Raven Wilson

Raven Wilson is a graduate student and clinical intern at The Feelings Healers.

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