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Welcome to My Country : A Therapist's Memoir of Madness

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ally ill patients that "gently unfurls to become a revealing memoir and thoughtful meditation on the therapeutic process itself" ("The New York Times"), brilliant young writer and therapist Lauren Slater brings readers closer to understanding themselves, one another, and the human condition. Targeted mailings.

Customer Review Snapshot

4.1 out of 5 stars
7 total reviews
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Most helpful positive review
Slater, a therapist who has suffered from mental illness of her own, recounts stories of treating severely mentally ill patients. She tries to show that the severely mentally ill yearn for friendship, love, and companionship just as much as their healthier counterparts do. This hardly sounds groundbreaking, but it does contradict certain psychological treatises-- most notably, Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Slater works with severely schizophrenic men. These men suffer hallucinations, their linguistic abilities have been stolen by disease, they are sometimes catatonic. In these conditions Slater uses talk therapy to find desire for connection, though it is often deeply hidden. Slater manages to convey the sadness and despair that surround profound mental illness, though there are glimmers of hope too. The writing in this book is too florid at times, but Slater always approaches her subjects with grace and humanity. I enjoyed Slater's discussion of her academic training and the theoretical universe in which she works. Readers get to see how she uses academic training to make treatment decisions. We get to see how she thinks as a practitioner. This is a fascinating memoir, though perhaps not as groundbreaking as it was in 1996.

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ally ill patients that "gently unfurls to become a revealing memoir and thoughtful meditation on the therapeutic process itself" ("The New York Times"), brilliant young writer and therapist Lauren Slater brings readers closer to understanding themselves, one another, and the human condition. Targeted mailings. Lauren Slater, a brilliant writer who is a young therapist, takes us on a mesmerizing personal and professional journey in this remarkable memoir about her work with mental and emotional illness. The territory of the mind and of madness can seem a foreign, even frightening place-until you read Welcome to My Country.

Writing in a powerful and original voice, Lauren Slater closes the distance between "us" and "them," transporting us into the country of Lenny, Moxi, Oscar, and Marie. She lets us watch as she interacts with and strives to understand patients suffering from mental and emotional distress-the schizophrenic, the depressed, the suicidal. As the young psychologist responds to, reflects on, and re-creates her interactions with the inner realities of the dispossessed, she moves us to a deeper understanding of the complexities of the human mind and spirit. And then, in a stunning final chapter, the psychologist confronts herself, when she is asked to treat a young woman, bulimic and suicidal, who is on the same ward where Slater herself was once such a patient.

Like An Unquiet Mind, Listening to Prozac and Girl, Interrupted, Welcome to My Country is a beautifully written, captivating, and revealing book, an unusual personal and professional memoir that brings us closer to understanding ourselves, one another, and the human condition.

Specifications

Publisher
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Book Format
Paperback
Original Languages
English
Number of Pages
224
Author
Lauren Slater
ISBN-13
9780385487399
Publication Date
July, 1997
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
8.08 x 5.18 x 0.48 Inches
ISBN-10
0385487398

Customer Reviews

5 stars
1
4 stars
6
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0
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1-5 of 7 reviews

A sincerely poignant m...

A sincerely poignant memoir of a psychologist who writes each chapter about a different mental condition and the "characters" in the early stages of her career. Not only is she perhaps one of the most gifted writers I've read, but she gets inside the very souls of her patients and expresses their pain in ways that only one who's been to those depths can. Slater is deeply compassionate in relating to her clients and opening our minds to the inner worlds of people with psychological disorders and emotional pain. Very enlightening!

Slater, a therapist wh...

Slater, a therapist who has suffered from mental illness of her own, recounts stories of treating severely mentally ill patients. She tries to show that the severely mentally ill yearn for friendship, love, and companionship just as much as their healthier counterparts do. This hardly sounds groundbreaking, but it does contradict certain psychological treatises-- most notably, Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Slater works with severely schizophrenic men. These men suffer hallucinations, their linguistic abilities have been stolen by disease, they are sometimes catatonic. In these conditions Slater uses talk therapy to find desire for connection, though it is often deeply hidden. Slater manages to convey the sadness and despair that surround profound mental illness, though there are glimmers of hope too. The writing in this book is too florid at times, but Slater always approaches her subjects with grace and humanity. I enjoyed Slater's discussion of her academic training and the theoretical universe in which she works. Readers get to see how she uses academic training to make treatment decisions. We get to see how she thinks as a practitioner. This is a fascinating memoir, though perhaps not as groundbreaking as it was in 1996.

Welcome to my Country ...

Welcome to my Country is a great book that effectively shows what it means to be diagnosed with a mental illness. It is nothing to be treated lightly. To do so would be insensitive. I was quite surprised on the author's use of descriptive language. I am so used to doctors writing being so frank and succient that Dr. Slater descriptions surprised me. The stories were all heartbreaking in their own right. I felt bad for the schizophrenic who was once a genius and, could sometimes sense, what exactly he had lost and the depressed mother of two who is going have to endure a lifetime of perpetual depression just to have a few days of happiness.Even Dr. Slater's own tragic past of abandonment and mental health illness was interesting as it showed an intregal part of how she treats and empathizes with her own patients. How can one person overcome their mental roadblocks and others remain stuck on the other side?

Welcome to my Country ...

Welcome to my Country is a great book that effectively shows what it means to be diagnosed with a mental illness. It is nothing to be treated lightly. To do so would be insensitive. I was quite surprised on the author's use of descriptive language. I am so used to doctors writing being so frank and succient that Dr. Slater descriptions surprised me. The stories were all heartbreaking in their own right. I felt bad for the schizophrenic who was once a genius and, could sometimes sense, what exactly he had lost and the depressed mother of two who is going have to endure a lifetime of perpetual depression just to have a few days of happiness.Even Dr. Slater's own tragic past of abandonment and mental health illness was interesting as it showed an intregal part of how she treats and empathizes with her own patients. How can one person overcome their mental roadblocks and others remain stuck on the other side?

Welcome to my Country ...

Welcome to my Country is a great book that effectively shows what it means to be diagnosed with a mental illness. It is nothing to be treated lightly. To do so would be insensitive. I was quite surprised on the author's use of descriptive language. I am so used to doctors writing being so frank and succient that Dr. Slater descriptions surprised me. The stories were all heartbreaking in their own right. I felt bad for the schizophrenic who was once a genius and, could sometimes sense, what exactly he had lost and the depressed mother of two who is going have to endure a lifetime of perpetual depression just to have a few days of happiness.Even Dr. Slater's own tragic past of abandonment and mental health illness was interesting as it showed an intregal part of how she treats and empathizes with her own patients. How can one person overcome their mental roadblocks and others remain stuck on the other side?

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Electrode, Comp-389264329, DC-prod-cdc01, ENV-prod-a, PROF-PROD, VER-30.0.3-ebf-2, SHA-8c8e8dc1c07e462c80c1b82096c2da2858100078, CID-f1b39de8-99b-16f0808a727c99, Generated: Sun, 15 Dec 2019 05:29:42 GMT