VOICES: A Psychologist's Journey by Trula Michaels LaCalle

VOICES: A Psychologist's Journey

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The voices are those of a suicidal young homosexual with six distinct personalities, treated by psychologist LaCalle in her first encounter with multiple personality syndrome (m.p.s.). Early in her career, 34-year-old Trula LaCalle takes on the case of 27-year-old homosexual Christopher. She visits him at home after a suicide scare, only to find him icily impersonal--a shocking switch from the vulnerable man of before. LaCalle has him admitted to a hospital for depression, suspecting deeper problems. During a hypnosis session conducted by a colleague, Christopher is overtaken by four-year-old ""Timmy""--one of six personalities. Despite resistance from the psychiatric staff (who cannot accept a diagnosis of multiple personality), LaCalle forges ahead with the hypnosis--uncovering violent female ""Jackie,"" cautions ""Ernest,"" callous ""James,"" seductive ""Sissy,"" confident ""Jeremy,"" and finally the little boy ""Richard."" While it is ""Timmy"" who encapsulates Christopher's feelings of childhood abandonment and longing for maternal care, it is ""Richard"" who contains shattering memories of sexual abuse--by his father. LaCalle slowly forges a nurturing bond with ""Timmy"" while she hypnotically persuades the other personalities--notably the pragmatic ""James""--to work for Christopher. Ultimately, however, Christopher must confront Richard, Finally claiming his terrible memories as his own. After nine months of therapy, an integrated Christopher moves in with a caring man who dies of AIDS--a sad postcript to the case. Don't expect Sybil's drama and mystery. LaCalle drifts off course at the end, leaving us hungry for more insight about the cause of and controversy surrounding m.p.s. On the whole, however, this is an earnest personal account with substantial appeal for a general audience.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1987
Publisher: Dodd, Mead