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The Therapist's New Clothes Perfect Paperback – June 30, 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

The Therapist's New Clothes is evocative, poetic and so captures Judy's inner workings when she was the mother of a very young child and was on her way to becoming a therapist. Judy is such a talented writer with the ability to get those thoughts and feelings onto the page that so easily escape you. This book is one of my favorite memoirs of all time. --Barbara DeMarco-Barrett, author of Pen on Fire: A Busy Woman's Guide to Igniting the Writer Within.

An honest, highly intelligent, darkly ironic book about what it is like to sit in the therapist's chair. Judy's writing sings. --Alison Larkin, author of The English American

About the Author

Judith D. Schwartz is a writer with work published in venues as varies as The New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, Time.com, Glamour, and Redbook. She is the author of The Mother Puzzle: A New Generation Reckons with Motherhood and co-author of Tell Me No Lies: How to Face the Truth and Build a Loving Marriage and others. A graduate of Brown University and The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, she lives in Southern Vermont with her husband, writer Tony Eprile, and their son Brendan.
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Product Details

  • Perfect Paperback: 148 pages
  • Publisher: Shires Press; First edition (June 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605710342
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605710341
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,834,906 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Perfect Paperback
In The Therapist's New Clothes, Judith D. Schwartz takes us on a journey of self-discovery. Haunted by her grandmother's suicide, the author has spent most of her adult years trying to resolve emotional problems with her for as long as she can remember. But despite years of self-analysis and psychotherapy, she is unable to hold onto happiness. Her quest to conquer her demons takes on an even greater urgency once she marries and has a child. Desperate for answers, Schwartz seeks out a string of clinicians with whom she forges close, symbiotic relationships as they struggle to piece together the puzzle of her childhood. At the same time, she decides to become a therapist herself.

Schwartz's pursuit of a tranquil psyche unfolds like a detective story, from New York to Chicago to Vermont and back and forth in time. The author moves deftly between early years and present-day life and provides an uncommon peek into the private worlds of therapy sessions and clinician training.

A "good patient" and a caring, astute beginning therapist, Schwartz understands the ins and outs of concepts like transference and projection. She clings to a personal narrative that includes guilt and parental blame for a case of childhood mumps that may that (or may not) have caused her brother's vision problems. Schwartz views emptiness and self-loathing, her constant companions, as "old" feelings dredged up in therapy, to be worked out in therapy - preventing her from realizing that the therapy itself has become addiction that is keeping her from discovering a better way.

We root for this intelligent, insightful woman to unlock the key to her misery and stop beating herself up, which she eventually does, sort of.
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This book is the author's story about therapy. She was (and is) a talented and intelligent writer, but friends convinced her she'd make a good therapist.

So she switched careers. She tells her story in the first person. Along with her story of becoming a therapist, there's a parallel story: her own unresolved pain from her own past. So the two stories weave together. I found it hard to put down.

I highly recommend this well-written account. The author is brutally honest -- she shows how some therapists significantly set her back, while others helped -- but she's not on a "mission." Like any good writer, she lets the reader draw his or her own conclusions.

It's her story, and it's compelling.
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This is a beautifully written book about the author's search for a solution to her depression. After spending years in psychotherapy, she became so enamored of the process, that she became a therapist herself. Yet, while she was succeeding professionally, and seemingly "had it all," including a caring husband and healthy son, she was still despondent. Finally, she happened upon the answer, and shares it in this heartfelt book. As an author myself, and one with a graduate degree in mental health counseling, I strongly recommend this book to experienced therapists, those in training, and to all those interested in their emotional well-being.
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This book is a well-written account of the author's experience with psychotherapy as a student in a counseling program and her personal experience with psychotherapy. While she says plenty about her therapists and a few psychiatrists missing opportunities to properly diagnose and treat her depression which eventually responded to medication, she gives her training program a pass for not teaching her alternatives to 'pure' counseling/psychotherapy. Her tale is not uncommon, though the length of her staying in treatment may differ from others. She takes little responsibility for her own decisions in staying with therapists she became dependent upon, preferring to blame them for her dependency and laser focus on metaphors. She credits her cure to the most recent psychiatrist she saw who put her on an antidepressant that worked. She does not belabor the fact that her most recent psychiatrist has the advantage, as most recent psychiatrists do, of knowing previous treatments (both psychological and pharmacological) she undertook and her response (or inadequate response) to these treatments. She sees him as her savior, which in her eyes I'm sure he was. The book is good for those who have been in psychotherapy without much improvement who have not been offered medications as an alternative or adjunct to their therapy. It does show them a positive experience with medications when therapy was not adequate.
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