cover image Flowers on Granite: One Woman's Odyssey Through Psychoanalysis

Flowers on Granite: One Woman's Odyssey Through Psychoanalysis

Dorte V. Drigalski. Creative Arts Book Company, $16.95 (2pp) ISBN 978-0-88739-013-5

As part of her abortive training to become a psychoanalyst, Drigalski was analyzed by a therapist who challenged her with questions like, ""Why are you mentioning this now for the first time?'' Though they disliked each other, the sessions continued until he deemed her training analysis a failure and disqualified her as an analytic candidate. Written with restrained anger, Drigalski's painstakingly detailed record of her therapy dramatizes her condemnation of presumption of omnipotence by therapists, their narrow-mindedness, condescension and tendency to pigeonhole people and their problems. When the author, now a physician in Germany, wanted to let loose sorrow, joy or pain, her therapist, instead, preached about nonjudgmental understanding. She came to see herself as phallic and castrating, felt neurotic and burdened with unhealthy mental associations. Her clinical narrative demonstrates the devastating negative impact that an insensitive therapist can have on a patient. (January)