For those who can't get enough of multiple personalities, this Bay Area psychiatrist recounts his troubles with the most...

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MINDS IN MANY PIECES: The Making of a Very Special Doctor

For those who can't get enough of multiple personalities, this Bay Area psychiatrist recounts his troubles with the most interesting of his 40 such patients--in particular the first two, Janette and Carrie. Interspersed is Allison's own cold sweat, along with his wonderment at such unusual on-the-job training: ""There are moments in life that are so momentous that they forever affect the course of your future existence."" Janette eventually moves along the road to health, discounting her angry, antisocial personality (Lydia) and utilizing the one personality capable of integrating all the others (Allison dubs it the ""Inner Self Helper, or ISH"")--but not before she recounts her childhood rejections, abandonments, and abuse (gang-bangs appear to figure prominently in these women's stories). The multiple personality is clearly a mechanism of flight from what is perceived by none-too-strong women as a life of unbearable situations, fraught with the perils of their own repressed hostility--against a new baby in the family, physical abuse, a sadistic husband, what have you. The saga of born victims is about all Allison recounts--there are none of the psychological refinements of a Sybil or an Eve--and even his ""exorcism"" of a supposed drug addict in Carrie cannot save her from the suicidal bent of one of her personalities; he loses her in the process of being ""made"" a certain kind of doctor. Negligible.

Pub Date: April 1, 1980

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Rawson, Wade--dist. by Atheneum

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1980