Spoiler alert: You will have a chance to submit a question for Irvin Yalom and join a Book Club on his latest book!
Have you ever been reading an amazing book and wished you could come through the pages and ask a question directly? As I was reading an advanced copy of Irvin Yalom’s new book Creatures of a Day, that is how I felt. Only I get to actually interview Dr. Irvin D. Yalom, in the flesh!
It has felt surreal from the beginning- reaching out to an icon in the world of psychology and even receiving a response back. At any moment, it has felt like this might all fall through. However, as I made airline flights and hotel reservations, it became real. Kelly Higdon and I are going to be interviewing Irvin D. Yalom. We are going to have the opportunity to step into his Palo Alto psychotherapy office and have a real conversation! Just being able to read an advanced copy of his new book was fantastic! I hope to be able to share my book review with you soon!
So, how did all of this happen? How did two regular ol’ therapists like me and Kelly get the chance to sit down with the father of group psychotherapy? Well- we asked. And he said yes! Now, if you email and ask Irvin Yalom to be interviewed, what are the odds that he will say yes? Maybe not great. Here are some things we did before approaching him that made it easy for him to say yes:
1. We planned.
Kelly and I sat down several months ago and made a list of the most amazing people in the field. We thought about who we’d love to talk to, hear from, etc. We started with our own wish list. Why? Truth is, many of the therapists in the field are being interviewed by journalists and reporters who don’t have a therapy background!
2. We surveyed
We also started asking other therapists who they were excited about. And guess what? We found we had missed some awesome people! We added those individuals to our hot list!
3. We positioned ourselves
Kelly and I have worked tirelessly to create amazing content here at PsychCentral, on our private practice blog at ZynnyMe.com, and doing free monthly trainings for therapists on starting a counseling practice. It has been a lot of hard work- but it has created an amazing community of readers and subscribers who we get to share our passion and information with.
4. We made it easy
When you are asking for something big, make it easy for the other person to say yes. Be sure to convey how doing something with you can be valuable to them. Irvin D. Yalom knows his value and has limited time. We have to be able to share how we can be of assistance.
There are many other lessons to be learned from this interaction. However, for now, we wanted to reach out and give the fabulous therapists of the world a chance to submit their questions. What do you really wish you could ask Yalom? What burning question would you pose if he was sitting in front of you? Post your question in the comments below. We may just choose your question!
Miranda Palmer, LMFT is a therapist who builds a thriving cash-pay private practice before becoming a business coach for therapists. She co-leads free trainings for therapists each month here.