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Welcome to My Country by Lauren Slater

Welcome to My Country (edition 1997)

by Lauren Slater

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Title:Welcome to My Country
Authors:Lauren Slater
Info:Anchor (1997), Edition: 1st Anchor Books ed, Paperback, 224 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Mental illness, therapy

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Welcome to My Country by Lauren Slater


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Showing 5 of 5
I would rate it higher if it stuck with me. I can't remember it at all. ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
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! ( )
  KikiUnhinged | Feb 9, 2014 |
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. ( )
1 vote lahochstetler | Aug 29, 2012 |
This is psychologist Lauren Slater's first book, a somewhat fictionalized account of her work with the mentally ill.

Her empathy and desire to connect with her patients, even those with the most baffling, least treatable forms of mental illness, leads us to a better understanding of these conditions and the human-ness of those afflicted.

Her background in writing, as well as psychology clearly shines through. The book is clearly and evocatively written.

My major criticism is that it seems just as a story is about to truly begin, it suddenly ends. This is seen most clearly in the final chapter, where we find that Lauren herself has been hospitalized in the mental institution where she meets her last patient. And so the book ends just as she is beginning to look at her feelings of being former patient and current therapist. There are sequels to this book and I'm hoping they explore this subject further. As it is, I feel the book ended with the beginning. ( )
  streamsong | Nov 27, 2007 |
Lauren Slater has written a number of memoirs, each more interesting than the last. This appears to be her first, and it is apparent that she hasn't quite found her footing yet. Not that the book isn't fascinating nonetheless; it is. It mostly relates Slater's experiences working in a residence for male chronic schizophrenics immediately after completing her medical training. Her treatment is not entirely standard, for she is determined to break through to the men in her group, to somehow find a way to communicate with them; sometimes she succeeds. But their worlds are almost entirely alien, and she must enter them in order to understand them, and the work is difficult and stressful, and Slater manages to make us understand both this and the rewards. How lucky I am, I came away thinking; how lucky I am to have a brain that functions properly. ( )
  TerryWeyna | Dec 31, 1969 |
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For my seven sisters.
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Alfred Adler, one of the leading psychiatrists of the twentieth century, used to say that people's earliest memories stand as a symbol for the conflicts that bring them to treatment.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385487398, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:35 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A memoir in which the author tells about her experiences with mental and emotional illness, both as a professional therapist and as a patient.

(summary from another edition)

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