Two nights ago I finished The Dancing Healers by Carl Hammerschlag, recently I read Hector And The Search For Happiness by Francois Lelord and I am just finishing, Lying On The Couch by Irvin Yalom. These three books have been very enjoyable and all were written by doctors who practice as psychiatrist. I don’t know if I have ever read another book by a psychiatrist so what is with this sudden interests? Two of the books are works of fiction and thereby more interesting than most non-fictions.
The Dancing Healer is actually a collection of real life stories by the author about his experience working with Native Americans. These stories are the kinds that expand how we see the world through the ways of another culture. If you work with people from other cultures and are involved in the healing professions, this is an enjoyable and enlightening book worth reading.
Hector and The Search For Happiness is a story about a psychiatrist that goes in search of what is the source of happiness. This is a fun and simple novel, which I found uplifting as I got to learn what he learned on his journey to different countries. This book was also about the advantages of traveling to other cultures. I recommend this book if you are looking for a fun and simple read.
Lying on the Couch is an inside look into how a psychoanalysis works with his patients from a fictional viewpoint. This book paints at times an unflattering portrait of the ego mind at work inside of people who are suppose to be helping others. I found the story interesting both for its insider perspective and because it had enough tension to keep me engaged. Dr Yalom has written other fictions and I will probably go in search of some of these other works.
As to why I am all of a sudden reading the writings of psychiatrist is unclear except in this case all three authors expanded my awareness and I love books that do that. These books also gave me a more positive view of psychiatry because much of what I have seen in my career as a mental health professional primarily includes men who have large ego’s, with little interest in psychotherapy, and thinking that medications are the magic potent for people’s problems. Expanded awareness and a more compassionate view of psychiatry are two very positive outcomes.
What readings have you found interesting lately? Please feel free to share them so we can all benefit.