Monday, March 23, 2015

The Skeleton Cupboard - Tanya Byron

I am shameful, I admit to going into the bookstore to stake out new books that I might like to read, with no intentions of buying any.  My little budget cannot afford to buy books, but I am a huge supporter of my local library.  It was nice to find some new things to read by browsing the shelves as there seem to be more and more published every time I visit.

I had seen Tanya Byron on the tele, on some of her shows where she helps parents with children with behavioural issues, and so was interested in this book about her placements during psychology training.  She gives us a glimpse of what it is like dealing with a variety of patients, the long term mentally ill, disturbed children, addicts,eating disorders,  hospice care, in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Her training seemed somewhat brutal and I am sure confronting for many, as they are forced to deal with many difficult situations, sometimes with patients who are threatening and violent with minimal assistance or supervision.

Although a memoir, the stories of patients is a mixture of patients who she met, and real names and particulars are not told in order to protect confidentiality, so this makes it somewhat confusing as these stories often came across as a bit of a novel.  I guess, like many who write similar books, the real stories are often more dramatic  and bazaar than anything made up.  Still it was an interesting read, and I read through it quite quickly.  4/5

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