Answers the question for professionals and patients alike: who is the person playing with your mind? Or is it your soul?



A probing, nuanced look at the culture of psychiatry, with particular emphasis on the dichotomy between the drug cure and the talking cure.

Anthropologist Luhrmann (Persuasions of the Witch’s Craft, 1989) spent some time exploring an aspect of psychological anthropology that required her to examine various cultures with the psychoanalytic theories of Freud in mind. As a result, she found herself drawn to the world of psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, and their patients. What she found after years of observation and immersion (she served briefly as a psychotherapist herself) were two ways of looking at mental illness. One approaches mental disorders as disturbances of the brain, biological anomalies, treatable with psychopharmaceuticals—Prozac, lithium, and the like. The other focuses on what Luhrmann calls disturbances of the mind, distortions of the personality that respond to the many, varying forms of guided exploration of the conscious and unconscious categorized as psychodynamic therapy. Psychiatrists are usually trained in both, but they are often forced to choose one approach or the other, committing themselves as brain doctors or mind doctors. Recently the two camps began to collaborate, agreeing in essence that a combination of medication and psychodynamics is most effective, but managed care put a severe cramp in that prognosis, forcing many hospitals and doctors into the drug McCure, eliminating or curtailing the now 45-minute hour. In chapters that include empathetic exploration of the stresses of medical training, careful examinations of the difficulties of diagnosis, the split between the scientist and the psychoanalyst, and the crisis of managed care, Luhrmann lays out clearly, with anecdote and case history, the ethnography that shapes a psychotherapist.

Answers the question for professionals and patients alike: who is the person playing with your mind? Or is it your soul?

Pub Date: April 10, 2000

ISBN: 0-679-42191-2

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2000

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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