MY SELF AND I by Constance A. Newland

MY SELF AND I

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The psychic syndrome of Constance Newland -- a young widow, mother, and highly successful slick writer -- was not particularly extraordinary. She had always been sexually frigid but then, Kinsey considered, so are one-third of American married women. She was an insomniac, suffered an irksome tic intermittently, and getting her to the dentist was like pulling teeth. Miss Newland had once before undergone psychoanalysis. The sessions hadn't helped much. Out of sheer curiosity, she volunteered for an experimental psychotherapy -- a psychotherapy which was to use, as ""a direct route to the subconscious"", the controversial hallucinogen LSD-25. The drug induces a kind of wakeful dream-state so that the patient may experience hallucinatory phenomena while his five senses are functioning actively. My Self and I is a subjective case study of these sessions which lasted for five months and which cured Constance Newland of all her neurotic symptoms. In the five hour periods of analysis, the author, with the help of her doctor and LSD, evoked dreams of Rodin's L'Emprise and Botticelli's Birth of Venus. She traveled through the caverns of Hades, recalled the words of the Marquis de Sade, relived the reality and psychic reality of her early childhood. The author does the deceptive creativity of her surrealistic psyche more than justice by this study. But something more important than a scarred libido is brought to this work. Miss Newland has seen the absurdity of Freudian paradox. Although a convert to the doctrine, she has not forgotten her own reluctance to accept many rather frightful truths and it is this awareness of antithesis that makes the book so thoroughly convincing. An enlightened, well-documented, enormously human account, the quality of the writing and of the woman augurs success.

Pub Date: May 15th, 1962
Publisher: Coward-McCann