A GREENHOUSE FOR THE MIND by Jacquelyn Seevak Sanders


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A succinct, confidently stated exploration of the philosophy and practices of the Sonia Schackman Orthogenic School. Written by the director who succeeded Bruno Bettelheim there, this covers some of the same ground as his books on the school (Love Is Not Enough, The Empty Fortress, A Home for the Heart), demonstrating how psychoanalytic understandings such as Erikson's developmental stages are used to guide the interventions of teachers and counselors. Sanders writes fluently, with relatively little jargon, on the thoughtfully designed physical environment, the role of discipline, and the particular difficulties confronting teachers who work with such emotionally disturbed children. Moreover, she remarks on the connections between emotion and learning and explains how the school accommodates so many and such highly idiosyncratic needs. One chapter uses a fictional student's case to represent the kind of problems facing the staff ("ego deficit with undetermined etiology" is the common characterization) and to consider their reflective responses to them. Sanders sees empathy as "The Heart of the Enterprise" and discusses at some length how staff members learn to use their understanding of a child's distress to help relieve it. With its accessible style and clearly presented case material, this worthy complement to the Bettelheim books demonstrates again how skilled use of psychoanalytic insights can benefit even the most troubled young minds.

ISBN: 226-73464-1
Publisher: Univ. of Chicago
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