THE SEVERED SOUL: A Psychoanalyst's Heroic Battle to Heal the Mind of a Schizophrenic by Herbert S. & Lucy Freeman Strean

THE SEVERED SOUL: A Psychoanalyst's Heroic Battle to Heal the Mind of a Schizophrenic

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A they-said-it-couldn't-be-done account of a schizophrenic who was healed by psychoanalysis. In recent years, the treatment of choice for schizophrenics, those souls who struggle to distinguish between fantasy and reality, has been drug therapy and even a return to electric shock. Psychoanalysis is regarded as too subtle and too prolonged to be useful to those troubled patients. Psychologist Strean and psychology writer Freeman (coauthors of Behind the Couch, 1988) here detail Strean's effort to prove that theory wrong by helping a woman who had already been in and out of mental hospitals several times to no avail. After four years, four times a week on the couch, Nancy W. was pronounced well, or as well as wounded human beings get. And that is Strean's point: the ambivalences of love and hate, the infantile rage and longing that afflict a schizophrenic are exaggerated manifestations of normal human fraility. The ""talking cure"" can help. It also helped that although Nancy was diagnosed as schizophrenic, throughout the analysis, she was able to function more or less well as a wife, mother, schoolteacher, and aspiring poet. Sans jargon, and carefully crafted to move the reader along (although in some cases not fast enough). And Strean's compassionate point of view--as well as his courage in revealing his own flaws as he struggles with Nancy's--boosts this beyond just another case history.

Pub Date: Feb. 28th, 1989
Publisher: St. Martin's