IN CONFIDENCE: Four Years of Therapy by Roberta Israeloff
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IN CONFIDENCE: Four Years of Therapy

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A first-time mother seeks therapy in hopes of becoming a more effective parent, only to discover a new world of insights opening to herself as well--in this moving evocation of the therapeutic process as startlingly perceptive as the author's first, Coming to Terms (1984). Israeloff, a fiction writer and teacher happily married to a graduate psychology student, surprised the other mothers in her son's playgroup when she confessed to a nagging desire to see a therapist. Living an apparently full life in Manhattan, the author wanted more: to understand what she was communicating to her son of her own negative childhood experiences in order to avoid passing on her anxieties. She realizes only later that her own need to sort out those anxieties motivated her even more. Once she does begin therapy (with a critical eye toward her maternal-looking but annoyingly aloof therapist), Israeloff first tries to charm the psychologist into utter adoration and thereby somehow ""win the game."" When her attempts fail, the author's need for control gradually fades, and her interest in what is surfacing grows as she examines her deepest insecurities, emotional hot spots, and dream symbols in the sharper light of objectivity. Spurred on by her husband, the author throws herself deeper into her quest for vision, increasing her number of visits to two per week, then three, until every conversation in the ""outside world"" seems tinged with psychological meaning and she decides she's had enough. After four years of sessions, Israeloff has managed to shed her writer's block, buy a house with her husband, and help her son lead a happier life with a less anxiety-ridden mother. Israeloff's uniquely poetic sensibility makes this an inspiring work--incisive, gripping, and absolutely honest--and leaves the reader eager for more.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1989
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin