601 – Maintaining the Heart and Soul of Therapy

A Dialogue with Irvin Yalom
Irvin Yalom & Susan Johnson

At a time when our lives continue to speed up and our engagement with digital devices continues to siphon off attention from our intimate connections, is therapy as we’ve known it doomed to be replaced by apps and computer programs? In this session, two of our field’s most noted practitioners, both of whom view therapy as a deeply personal experience, will explore how the therapeutic encounter can remain relevant in a rapidly changing world. Using video to bring more detail and immediacy to their conversation, they’ll focus on the need to go beyond theory and technique to highlight the therapist’s emotional engagement and use of self as being at the core of what makes therapy work. You’ll explore:

  • The role of emotion in enriching and driving the therapeutic process
  • The main barriers to therapeutic connection and how to overcome them
  • How confronting your own issues and fears is essential to helping your clients deal with the existential terrors that underlie so much of their suffering


Irvin Yalom, PhD, is an emeritus professor of psychiatry at Stanford University and the author many books, including his latest, Becoming Myself: A Psychiatrist’s Memoir.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Irvin Yalom is Professor Emeritus at Stanford University.
Non-financial: Irvin Yalom has no relevant non-financial relationship to disclose.

Susan Johnson, EdD, developer of Emotionally Focused Therapy, is the director of The International Center for Excellence in EFT. She’s the author of Hold Me Tight and Love Sense: The Revolutionary New science of Romantic Relationships.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Susan Johnson receives compensation as a tenured professor for the University of Ottawa.  She receives royalties as an author for Little Brown, ICEEFT, Brunner Routledge, and Guilford Press. Dr. Johnson receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.
Non-financial: Susan Johnson has no relevant non-financial relationship to disclose.

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