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Walkenstein is a noisy (she'd call herself loud-mouthed), attention-getting iconoclast who obviously relishes her enfant terrible status in the profession. Her chief gripe is drugs -- tranquilizers, sleeping pills, marijuana, alcohol, birth control pills -- you name it, she's agin it with all the ardor of a Christian Scientist. According to Walkenstein ""this happiness kick we're on"" is a fraud anyway. People were meant to feel anger, love, fear, sorrow, anxiety. As for shock therapy, lobotomies, etc., they make her want to shriek -- which is exactly what she does. Her opinion of her stuffed-shirt colleagues is none too high -- ""What shits most psychiatrists are!"" and MDs are ""notoriously reactionary,"" operation-mad and downright dangerous. As for herself (she tells you a lot about herself, especially the intellectual and spiritual ""rape"" she experienced in medical school), she wants her patients to get in touch with their guts -- and fast. No walls should exist between patient and therapist; both should feel free to hit, scream, cry, rage and fall off chairs in order to achieve not some ersatz happiness but health for chrissake! Not that she has much use for the more faddish forms of encounter groups, sensitivity training, etc. In fact for all her thumping attacks on her profession, for all the four-letter words and barrage of exclamation points, Walkenstein comes across as a rather old-fashioned believer in ""Nature"" and common sense. Her tirades are more likely to tire you out than make you fighting mad.

Pub Date: Jan. 9th, 1972
Publisher: Crown