Why was Saul tormented by these unopened letters from Stockholm? What made Thelma spend her whole life raking over a long-past love affair? How did Carlos's macho fantasies help him deal with terminal cancer? In this engrossing book, Irvin Yalom gives detailed and deeply affecting accounts of his work with these and seven other patients. Deep down, all of them were suffering from the basic human anxieties - isolation, fear of death or freedom, a sense of the meaninglessness of life - that none of us can escape completely. And yet, as the case histories make touchingly clear, it is only by facing such anxieties head on that we can hope to come to terms with them and develop. Throughout, Dr Yalom remains refreshingly frank about his own errors and prejudices; his book provides a rare glimpse into the consulting room of a master therapist.