Throughout her career, widely acclaimed sociologist, psychotherapist, and author Lillian Rubin has addressed some of the most important social and psychological issues of our times. Now she turns her keen intelligence and empathic heart to a critical look at psychotherapy -- at what it teaches and what it leavew out, at what it does and what it cannot do -- and argues ultimately that it promises far more than it can deliver.
In this series of fascinating and challenging case studies, Dr. Rubin speaks of her own experience in the difficult interactions and sometimes impossible decisions that were placed before her. Each of the stories is a riveting and moving journey into the human psyche, from the secret life of "The Women Who Wasn't" to the extreme regression of the patient in "The White Hat, the smoldering rage of "The Man With the Beautiful Voice," the tortured dilemma of a student weighing suicide in "To Live or Die," and the explosive lie eating at the heart of a marriage in "Watching and Waiting."
In focusing on both sides of the therapeutic relationship, Dr. Rubin reveals her personal struggle to cast off the chains of her traditional psychoanalytic training and develop her own often unorthodox approach. Unwilling to be bound by rigid rules that hard experience taught her don't work, she spends months sitting on the floor with a woman who won't get up, strikes a bargain for weeks of silence with another who has lost the ability to tell truth from lie, cries with some patients, rejoinces with others, all the while advocating for strength rather than weakness and insisting that few of us are as fragile as therapeutic theory and practice would have it.
Through these captivating tales, a thought-provoking introduction, and a moving concluding chapter, Dr. Rubin takes us into the heart of the therapeutic relationship and shows us the pain, the learning, and the healing that are part of the process for therapist as well as patient. In opening up the therapeutic process to the readers gaze, she offers both the gift of insight and something more practical -- some direction for what to think about and look for in undertaking the therapeutic journey.