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The Man with the Beautiful Voice: And More Stories from the Other Side of the Couch Hardcover – May 15, 2003

ISBN-13: 004-6442029261 ISBN-10: 0807029262 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press; 1 edition (May 15, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807029262
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807029268
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.7 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,687,423 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

For her latest title, Rubin, a psychotherapist, takes a page from Oliver Sacks with this absorbing chronicle of seven of her most challenging cases. These "stories from the other side of the couch" attempt to explain to the lay reader what therapists mean when they refer to the "reciprocal dance" of treatment, in which patients "expect more than they should and we promise more than we can deliver." The patient of the title is a handicapped former Thalidomide baby whose deep rage over his malformed legs borders on the sociopathic. Rubin brings the reader into her office and her head as, year after year, she methodically coaxes the embittered man toward self-acceptance. Such success is elusive, however, and for every therapeutic triumph there are also patients who can't endure the self-scrutiny and simply give up. Rubin claims to be forever haunted by the suicide of one young graduate student whose treatment for profound depression seemed to be progressing with promise. Watching others lay themselves completely bare day after day takes an emotional toll on the therapist as well, and Rubin is completely honest about her own doubts and feelings of inadequacy as she gently attempts to build a trusting relationship with her patients. Hers is a humanistic, often unorthodox, approach, and she takes great pains to treat the fragile people who seek her out as equals. Therapists are generally trained to keep a detached, strictly clinical manner in the office; any physical contact is frowned upon. But it's a rule Rubin defiantly flouts: she's quick with a hug or a squeeze of the hand if she thinks the situation calls for it. In her writing, Rubin employs an efficient and deliberate-though not dry-narrative style peppered with keen insight and good humor. Each of these seven case studies stands alone as a unique, self-contained story that will have the reader rooting for what Rubin calls the "aha" moment, the "beginning of knowing" that marks a breakthrough in psychotherapy.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"In her writing Rubin employs an efficient and deliberate--though not dry--narrative style peppered with keen insight and good humor. Each of these seven case studies stands alone as a unique, self-contained story that will have the reader rooting for what Rubin calls the "aha" moment, the "beginning of knowing" that marks a breakthrough in psychotherapy." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Kelley Hunt on July 2, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Rubin explains that there are a set of rules regarding the relationship between a patient and doctor and how she sometimes broke the rules to help her patients. She shows the soul-searching and thought processes that go into the decision to break the rules by describing interactions with some of her patients. She does a great job of describing these cases, building the tension for the reader who is wondering why the patient has come in for therapy; there is always a big payoff when the secret trauma suffered by each patient is revealed. This is a very short book and I found myself wishing it was longer. I could easily read 400 pages + of these gripping stories. The human drama never ceases to be interesting and the author has a talent for writing in simple yet artistic prose.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By HORAK on July 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
Dr Rubin's stories are drawn from her clinical practice and her experience with her patients. The reader meets Eve Gordon who endured a harrowing childhood with her alcoholic parents; now 39, she lives a life of virtual isolation and desperately wants to become her therapist's friend. Many sessions are spent with Eve curled up in the corner of the practice without uttering a single word. Bruce Marins, a cripple - a "Thalidomide baby", a drug taken by his mother to cure her morning sickness - who rejects sympathy as being patronising, who feels anger and distrust of people around him and who sees deceit, pity and rejection wherever he turns. As Dr Rubin is about to greet Bonnie Paulsen and Jerry Stillman in her office, she is far from picturing the way these two patients are going to deceive her with their egregious lies and carefully plotted hoax - "How easily any patient can defeat even the most artful and accomplished therapist." she writes! Jake Garvin suffers from manic-depressive psychosis and so needs help because he's having trouble writing his dissertation for his degree. This is all the more urgent since the two job offers Jake has received depend on his finishing his dissertation. A case which will unfortunately end very tragically. Richard Durbin and Valerie Goldner are a yuppie couple. But why does Richard stubbornly refuse to have a child with Valerie? What mysterious event in his past makes him refuse to become a father? And finally there is the case of Delfina Ortega, a Mexican American, who was pregnant at 16, then became an excellent high school student graduating near the top of her class, who was subsequently awarded full scholarship to the university and then, when she was accepted to a graduate programme in Latin American history, she falls into a panic attack.

Dr Rubin's cases are a wonderful read for those of us who are mere laymen in the field of psychology.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C on February 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book gives you an inside view of the therapist-patient relationship from the therapist point of view. It's enlightening to read how the relationship develops and how that impacts the patient's life. You can get a little bit of a feel for how therapy works and what happens. The book does a nice job of juxtaposing the 'rules' of how things are to be done and 'intuition' about how things should be done and the struggle between the two. My favorite chapter was the final one where the author shared her personal experience in therapy and what that relationship meant to her and did for her. A good read for a therapist or a client in therapy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Deb on December 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
Wonderfully real and inspirational reflections of therapeutic sessions with a therapist who seems to have the healing combination of genuineness, authenticity, self- and other-awareness, and the innate desire to really hear and see her clients. The words harmoniously sing from the pages of this book with the chorus repeatedly reminding us that in therapy it is indeed the relationship that heals.
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