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Brooklyn Zoo: The Education of a Psychotherapist

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Ever wonder just who that person in the chair opposite you in the therapist's office is, and how he or she got that way? Wonder no more. This is a compelling memoir about the stressful, yet never less than exciting, education of a psychotherapist in the midst of institutional dysfunction that bids fair to become to psychotherapy what Scott Turow's One L is to lawyering and Ever wonder just who that person in the chair opposite you in the therapist's office is, and how he or she got that way? Wonder no more. This is a compelling memoir about the stressful, yet never less than exciting, education of a psychotherapist in the midst of institutional dysfunction that bids fair to become to psychotherapy what Scott Turow's One L is to lawyering and Samuel Shem's House of God is to doctoring.


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Ever wonder just who that person in the chair opposite you in the therapist's office is, and how he or she got that way? Wonder no more. This is a compelling memoir about the stressful, yet never less than exciting, education of a psychotherapist in the midst of institutional dysfunction that bids fair to become to psychotherapy what Scott Turow's One L is to lawyering and Ever wonder just who that person in the chair opposite you in the therapist's office is, and how he or she got that way? Wonder no more. This is a compelling memoir about the stressful, yet never less than exciting, education of a psychotherapist in the midst of institutional dysfunction that bids fair to become to psychotherapy what Scott Turow's One L is to lawyering and Samuel Shem's House of God is to doctoring.

30 review for Brooklyn Zoo: The Education of a Psychotherapist

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jaime

    I literally forced myself to finish this. There were so many things I disliked about it and even found myself disliking the author. Having an advanced degree in clinical psychology myself, I was stunned when she admitted that as an intern - after 4 years of classroom work and practica - she had never read the DSM, nor had her school taught it or focused on it. Her training was primarily psychoanalytical in theory, yet she chose a hospital setting as one of her top intern placements - and is I literally forced myself to finish this. There were so many things I disliked about it and even found myself disliking the author. Having an advanced degree in clinical psychology myself, I was stunned when she admitted that as an intern - after 4 years of classroom work and practica - she had never read the DSM, nor had her school taught it or focused on it. Her training was primarily psychoanalytical in theory, yet she chose a hospital setting as one of her top intern placements - and is surprised when the approach is more cognitive-behavioral. This suggests that she really had no idea what kind of work she was getting into. Having interned in a hospital, it's obvious to anyone in psych training that the work will not be psychoanalytical. How she could miss this is beyond me. To top it all off, her new supervisor emails her at the beginning of the summer to suggest she come in and meet him before the start of the school year, and she declines - yet she wonders why he doesn't like her much. Her tone is derisive and self-important, and the character development is poor. I don't get a sense of Lockman herself in this book, and the reader doesn't get any real authentic emotion from her. The whole book is how unhappy she is at this placement, and then she is "stung" when she's not interviewed for a job that opens up there, or when her supervisor won't write her a letter of recommendation. I was really excited to read this, but it just left me wondering how she had ever earned her PhD.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ali

    I am having a hard time coming up with what I want to say about this book. I was really excited when I picked it up, mostly because Lockman receive her PhD at the same university where I earned my MSW, and I also interned for a year in a psychiatric hospital (although not Kings County, obviously). That being said...wow, was I disappointed. The following review is going to consist of a large amount of venting, mostly because I disliked Lockman as a person. And I felt this long before the part I am having a hard time coming up with what I want to say about this book. I was really excited when I picked it up, mostly because Lockman receive her PhD at the same university where I earned my MSW, and I also interned for a year in a psychiatric hospital (although not Kings County, obviously). That being said...wow, was I disappointed. The following review is going to consist of a large amount of venting, mostly because I disliked Lockman as a person. And I felt this long before the part where Lockman clearly states that she has no respect for the social work profession, and she uses them to make her feel better about herself. She clearly thinks she is above everything except her precious psychoanalytic orientation. I don't know why she published this book. I understand she needed to process the experience, but then she should have kept it private. This book does not put her in a good light; it makes her appear professionally inept, and I can't imagine anyone would want to go to her for private therapy after reading this book. For her sake, I hope that she only has white, upper middle-class clients with attachment issues, because that's pretty much all she can handle. Anything related to psychosis or DSM criteria is completely beyond her. And I understand that she entered this internship when she was a young professional and just starting, but she stated repeatedly she has no desire to learn anything beyond what she already knows. Her feeble attempt to be open to CBT was laughable, and she clearly thinks it is a useless practice. How anyone can be so pigeon-holed into a single orientation is beyond me. I might be a lowly social worker who she thinks shouldn't be doing clinical work, but at least I understand different orientations and can confidently use them with different clients as needed. Also, at least I didn't spend my year at my inpatient psychiatric internship belittling everything and acting like I was too good to be there. Did I complain? Yes. Did I get immensely frustrated at the bureaucracy of the hospital and the way things were run? Of course. But there is so much to learn if you want to...and she clearly didn't. She was in that rotation for how many short weeks? Twenty? And she complained about how run down she was and how it completely beat her up. Yes, it's exhausting, often thankless work. But she blatantly admits to giving up on patients after just a few times of working together, her group sessions are weak attempts that fizzle after a few minutes, and she just clearly resents having to be there. So why she listed it as her second choice is beyond me. She thought herself better than the patients, her peers, her supervisors, and pretty much everyone she came into contact with. I'm glad her supervisors called her out on that. She has such an air of entitlement that seems ludicrous to me. She ignores an invitation to meet her supervisor before the official start of her internship, she repeatedly asks to cancel supervision simply because her client didn't show up (that's not all supervision can be used for), she refuses to adjust her way of thinking to meet the demands of the environment, and yet she sees confused when she is told no one likes her. Interesting. This book was an immense letdown. It is not a portrayal of the frustrations of being a clinician in a system that truly does need reform. It does not inspire thought or call for change. Rather, it is a whiny journal chronicling a year of this woman's misery that she clearly wrote for her own needs. (Questionable ethics, by the way...). Which, actually, fits with her psychoanalytic orientation, which is best for people interested in indulging their need to talk about themselves at great length for long periods of time with no goal or end result. Yes, psychoanalysis is a useful perspective and can be crucial for the therapeutic process. However, it is not the be all, end all of therapy, and I'm sorry she doesn't recognized that. I respect psychologists. I agree that therapy/clinicians in general are losing out to the medical model and consequently patients are suffering. We are over-medicating and discharging patients without actually helping them. Too bad Lockman doesn't write from this perspective and the drastic need for reform, that this book claims she does. Everyone who picks up this book will become dumber for having read it. I award her no points, and may God have mercy on her soul.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Knoke

    I wish someone had helped this author put off writing this book until she got some more experience and insight. I feel like someone should have protected her from publishing this. She seems like a caring person, with good intentions, but remarkably naïve. Im trying here. I did not dislike her. Im not angry at her. I am just sort of chagrined by the whole thing. Maybe she just needs time and more experience before attempting this? Here are some examples of statements that dismayed me: Dr Wolfe, a I wish someone had helped this author put off writing this book until she got some more experience and insight. I feel like someone should have protected her from publishing this. She seems like a caring person, with good intentions, but remarkably naïve. I’m trying here. I did not dislike her. I’m not angry at her. I am just sort of chagrined by the whole thing. Maybe she just needs time and more experience before attempting this? Here are some examples of statements that dismayed me: Dr Wolfe, a psychologist supervisor, makes a totally obvious inappropriate sexual reference to her regarding her blushing: She says, “…I couldn’t stop myself from thinking like a therapist. My training had taught me to pay attention to associations….I believed Dr Wolfe believed my blushing a sign like the interviewee in his story, that I was harboring purient thoughts. Given our age difference, I hoped he’d only be flattered, but in moments like those I often felt I’d rather not be privy to the ways of knowing of my field. I certainly was not a mind reader (she certainly is not) as strangers I met at parties sometimes seemed to fear, but like a telepath I did have clues to bits of others private thoughts that a non-psychologist was spared. I guessed I could never go back to being that, and my chest filled with regret.” Where to start with this? How narcissistic is this? If a rock fell on her toe and it hurt, would her “special ways of knowing” help her realize telepathically that it hurt? Her chest filled with regret? I do get that strangers might fear her at parties. Come on, how many women have sexually inappropriate things said to them from clueless horny men, often in positions of authority? Does it require “telepathy” and special “psychologist ways of knowing,” to identify? We all understand this and pretend to ignore it as a strategy. Recognizing this is nothing special. Sadly. Sadly, I also completely get why her supervisor gave her a bunch of 2’s on a 1-5 Likert scale rating her performance. I wish she did. Plus, I really didn’t know anyone believed anymore that schizophrenia’s origins came during the first year of life from “not achieving”.. “basic trust and faith in the fact of (your) existence.” I thought the “schizophrenigenic” mother thing got debunked decades ago, when genetic and biochemical correlates to schizophrenia became clear. “Auditory Hallucinations result from the projection of the pathological introject of the mother.” It goes on and on. She is bogged down by psychoanalytic excess. Plus if you want to be thought of as a caring therapist, you shouldn’t title your book, “Brooklyn Zoo,” implying your clients are animals, your colleagues zookeepers? She is out of touch with her patients, too involved with herself and her ego, and too critical of allied professionals and colleagues, like other psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical social workers, even a recreational therapist for gosh sake. She lacked the experience or competence to write a meaningful book about a therapist’s perceptions. It frightens me when professional reviews say things like, “Want to know what your therapist is thinking? Read this book.” This isn’t what your therapist is thinking, trust me on this. Bottom line, this book needs to be written by a better therapist, with more experience. Someone should have protected her from publishing this.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Moira Russell

    Written in a dry, analytical, almost dull style, this memoir focuses on airing many grievances about past supervisors and there's no indication she ever really emotionally connected with the patients she treated in training. The only time this books perks up is about halfway through when there's a detailed, vivid, exciting description of working in the psychiatric ER ward with a gifted doctor who's been on the job fifteen years. The author is almost painfully psychoanalytic to the point of Written in a dry, analytical, almost dull style, this memoir focuses on airing many grievances about past supervisors and there's no indication she ever really emotionally connected with the patients she treated in training. The only time this books perks up is about halfway through when there's a detailed, vivid, exciting description of working in the psychiatric ER ward with a gifted doctor who's been on the job fifteen years. The author is almost painfully psychoanalytic to the point of describing panic attacks as repressed rage caused by conflicting unconscious impulses which are treated by bringing those to the surface in talk therapy (which is guaranteed to cause immediate unrepressed rage in anyone who has actually suffered a panic attack). Rather than describing the clash between older psychoanalytic theories and modern drug and behavioural therapies, including CBT, the writer only displays them and so the book is of limited use to the medical specialist. Since it's not that well-written, it's not really of much use to the civilian reader, either.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

    Brooklyn Zoo is the story of the internship year Lockwood completed to earn her PhD in psychology. Apparently Kings County Hospitals G building is a rough and tumble place serving uninsured homeless people along with others down on their luck. No one wants to be there. The year Lockwood was there things sound particularly raucous. She received little teaching and less supervision. She and her fellow interns were largely on their own relying on their past clinical experience and what theyd “Brooklyn Zoo” is the story of the internship year Lockwood completed to earn her PhD in psychology. Apparently Kings County Hospital’s G building is a rough and tumble place serving uninsured homeless people along with others down on their luck. No one wants to be there. The year Lockwood was there things sound particularly raucous. She received little teaching and less supervision. She and her fellow interns were largely on their own relying on their past clinical experience and what they’d learned in school. A long standing feud was in play with the medical residents and the PhD’s. Lockwood portrays the doctors as pill pushers with little respect for the patient’s need to look at underlying causes of their neuroses or psychoses. A large part of her training seemed to be maneuvering around this established norm rather than working with her fellow students and staff though she did find some sympathetic residents who she exchanged information with. Lockwood’s account is sometimes funny but mostly it’s frustrating and tragic for the patients and for her and her fellow psych interns. Their hands were mostly tied. It was more an endurance test rather than one of learning unless you count the skill of learning to deal with bureaucracy. Lots of the patients were so profoundly ill and had been for so long with so little access to resources that there was almost nothing that could be done for them other than try and find them living accommodations and appropriate medication. Often they couldn’t articulate their life stories or if they could those stories were unbelievably tragic. They seemed like people society threw away. Lockwood is at her most eloquent when she discusses her personal emotional reactions to her patients and how she processed through those reactions by looking at her personal pathology….the pathology we all have to a greater or lesser degree. Her advantage was she actively sought self knowledge and used it to not only to heal herself but to effect changes in her patients. I admire her honesty.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kurt

    This memoir should be required reading for anyone with a connection to the field of psychology. Dr. Lockman shares stories from her intern year in pursuit of a doctorate in psychology, and along the way she describes serious weaknesses in the way psychology (specifically as it relates to talk therapy, whether or not medications are involved) is represented in a hospital context. Dr. Lockman's background in journalism allows her to choose the most important details to tell her stories, and her This memoir should be required reading for anyone with a connection to the field of psychology. Dr. Lockman shares stories from her intern year in pursuit of a doctorate in psychology, and along the way she describes serious weaknesses in the way psychology (specifically as it relates to talk therapy, whether or not medications are involved) is represented in a hospital context. Dr. Lockman's background in journalism allows her to choose the most important details to tell her stories, and her background in psychotherapy moves her to share humbling personal responses to the challenges of her internship. I approached this book as someone pretty familiar with psychiatry. My brother is a psychiatrist, I've seen a psychiatrist in the past, and my work as a public defender brings me into close contact with many people who take medication for mental health problems. When it comes to psychology as pursued by Dr. Lockman, though, I realized quickly that I was reading about a fascinating new world. Parts of it were familiar (I love the section about forensic psychology, since I work with forensic psychologists frequently and haven't really considered their perspectives often enough), but most was new for me. Parts of this book will likely frustrate the reader. Dr. Lockman presents herself as (occasionally) an astoundingly bad employee (in any field, really, when your future boss asks to meet you before your first day of orientation, the correct response is never, "But you're all the way across town!" If you do respond this way, though, you should be ready for a difficult first few weeks on the job). She also comes across as whiny at times when frustrated by the way a fast-paced hospital doesn't carve out space for long-term talk therapy. I think these frustrations speak to Dr. Lockman's skill as an author, though. I suspect that Dr. Lockman now knows exactly how unprepared she was for her task, and while she never quite states that openly, she also doesn't engage in defensive justifications for her bad decisions and powerless grumbling. Her interest is sharing an honest look into the mind and heart of an actual intern, and that means presenting the good with the bad. At the end of the book, I am not convinced that hospitals need to do more to accommodate long-term psychotherapy (beyond providing referrals for patients as they leave). I respect Dr. Lockman's arguments, though, and I love the incident she shares near the end of the book, where a busy psychiatrist offers a prescription for medication that has absolutely nothing to do with the psychology of why a rape victim becomes promiscuous - and Dr. Lockman, with her background in psychology, steps in to provide real hope and understanding to the patient. It's the most beautiful of many beautiful scenes in this book, and an example of why this memoir is so valuable, no matter the reader's ultimate opinion on Dr. Lockman's systemic arguments. (I received my copy for free from the Amazon Vine program)

  7. 5 out of 5

    Harriet

    I was excited to come across this book. As a magazine journalist and author with a long history of interest in mental health, I couldn't wait to start reading. But the book didn't deliver what I hoped it would: a clear-eyed view of how profoundly dysfunctional our mental health treatment "system" is. Nor did it describe in any meaningful way the education of a psychotherapist, as the subtitle promises. Few psychotherapists go through experiences like this. And fewer still (I hope and pray) are I was excited to come across this book. As a magazine journalist and author with a long history of interest in mental health, I couldn't wait to start reading. But the book didn't deliver what I hoped it would: a clear-eyed view of how profoundly dysfunctional our mental health treatment "system" is. Nor did it describe in any meaningful way the education of a psychotherapist, as the subtitle promises. Few psychotherapists go through experiences like this. And fewer still (I hope and pray) are as wedded to outmoded ways of seeing the world and their patients. Other reviewers have commented on some of the book's most egregious moments--when Lockman reveals she's never read the DSM, or her casual description of the "causes" of schizophrenia (really? has Lockman now looked at any of the research on this published in the last 35 years?). Mostly, though, what's wrong with this book is that despite having compelling subject matter and a solid structure, it's boring. The author never gets beyond her own perspective. I got the feeling that in her mind, the real subject of the book is her. And she's just not that interesting, or at least she's not presented with enough of the kind of resonance and critical thinking that would make her interesting. I hope she's not treating any schizophrenic patients these days. I really do.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    I received this ARC through a goodreads giveaway, and I am very glad that I did. I am currently a student in the same field as the author, and I was able to follow along with her as she struggled through her internship. It was especially encouraging to watch her go from an unsure student to one with more confidence. There has been one negative review of this book that I would like to address. Although I do wonder about the author not being taught about the DSM beforehand, I can say that in the I received this ARC through a goodreads giveaway, and I am very glad that I did. I am currently a student in the same field as the author, and I was able to follow along with her as she struggled through her internship. It was especially encouraging to watch her go from an unsure student to one with more confidence. There has been one negative review of this book that I would like to address. Although I do wonder about the author not being taught about the DSM beforehand, I can say that in the progam I am currently in, we are only taught a sememsters worth of it. We are also taught that the diagnosis does not define the person, and that the DSM is just another tool that can help us in treating the client. As for her choice of internships, sometimes you have to take what you get. Her internship site was not her first choice. I have worked in the type of conditions she describes, the short staffing, no money to improve conditions, etc., so for me, it was easy to understand her frustration. As for her relationship with her supervisor, hindsight is 20/20. She realizes she made a mistake, and works to correct it. I feel that is book is not only about how she learned about becoming a psychotherapist, but about her growing as a person as well.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    Ultimately I was disappointed with this book for many of the same reasons other Goodreads reviewers have mentioned. I felt the author had no idea what she was getting into with her internship, I thought her choice for her internship was an odd one (unless that was her best--and only--choice), she was completely hung up on her status as a psychologist rather than a psychiatrist, and she seemed to have an awful lot of baggage herself. The author expresses surprise when some of her supervisors Ultimately I was disappointed with this book for many of the same reasons other Goodreads reviewers have mentioned. I felt the author had no idea what she was getting into with her internship, I thought her choice for her internship was an odd one (unless that was her best--and only--choice), she was completely hung up on her status as a psychologist rather than a psychiatrist, and she seemed to have an awful lot of baggage herself. The author expresses surprise when some of her supervisors don't like her. Hmm, so much for self-examination. The book is perfectly well written, but other than that it did not live up to my expectations.

  10. 4 out of 5

    K

    Mmmrrmmmpppphhhh -- wrote a long and thoughtful review of this book, now lost in cyberspace due to an electrical short. Sigh. I will try to reconstruct, but will probably end up shortening and simplifying. Maybe that's a good thing. When I read "Orange is the New Black," I wondered whether approaching a memoir with a high degree of curiosity about an experience is a set-up for disappointment, as reading about the mundane details can end up seeming rather boring and banal. In this case too, I Mmmrrmmmpppphhhh -- wrote a long and thoughtful review of this book, now lost in cyberspace due to an electrical short. Sigh. I will try to reconstruct, but will probably end up shortening and simplifying. Maybe that's a good thing. When I read "Orange is the New Black," I wondered whether approaching a memoir with a high degree of curiosity about an experience is a set-up for disappointment, as reading about the mundane details can end up seeming rather boring and banal. In this case too, I think I went in with inflated expectations as I was perhaps overeager to read about someone else's doctoral internship in psychology and to compare notes. There were definitely some parallels between Darcy's experiences and mine. Darcy and I both received psychodynamic training in graduate school (although she felt decidedly more positive about hers than I felt about mine), only to discover that this failed to prepare us for working with full-blown psychosis in an inpatient setting. Darcy, however, experienced other frustrations as well. Her supervisors not only failed to provide her with the guidance she sought but actually told her straight out that they disliked her (in my field, the distinction between evaluating someone professionally and evaluating them personally can get blurred). She felt unappreciated as a lowly psychology intern in a setting where interventions were largely medication-driven and psychiatry residents ruled the roost. And worst of all, her placement was so poorly run that it was later written up for, among other things, failing to provide appropriate clinical leadership which may validate some of Darcy's difficulties with her supervisors. Although some reviewers snark, perhaps accurately, that Darcy's own contributions to her problems remain unacknowledged by her, clearly the situation itself was far from ideal. While I enjoyed reading about Darcy's experiences and reminiscing a bit about my own, somehow this memoir was not as affecting for me as I hoped it would be. Perhaps some of the problem was that Darcy spent a great deal of time describing the various patients she met which somehow felt repetitive although it really should have been more interesting. Meanwhile, when Darcy finally has the blow-up with her supervisors, it almost appears to come out of nowhere -- a little foreshadowing and a few dropped hints but not much actual build-up or development. Was the whole thing perhaps too superficially rendered? Or were my expectations unrealistic? I'm not sure, so I think I'll just give it a 3 and call it a day. It was certainly an interesting read for me, even if Darcy wasn't the long lost twin I had hoped to find.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Meaghan

    I got this book free from LibraryThing Early Reviewers. Excellent career memoir. Darcy Lockman notes that years in graduate school taught her how to be a scholar, but not how to be a therapist. For her training in that area she went through a grueling year-long internship, rotating through various fields of psychotherapy and meeting all the manner of wretched people. She was a psychoanalytically trained therapist accustomed to working with the relatively healthy, so seeing the people in forensic I got this book free from LibraryThing Early Reviewers. Excellent career memoir. Darcy Lockman notes that years in graduate school taught her how to be a scholar, but not how to be a therapist. For her training in that area she went through a grueling year-long internship, rotating through various fields of psychotherapy and meeting all the manner of wretched people. She was a psychoanalytically trained therapist accustomed to working with the relatively healthy, so seeing the people in forensic psychology, inpatient settings, etc., was a real eye-opener. As she learns about what really goes on, so does the reader. I had read a lot of books about psychology and psychotherapy before, as well as having been in therapy myself for years, but I still learned a lot from this book. You also saw Darcy grow as a person during her training year, until by the end of it she had become much more confident and less self-critical. Also noteworthy was how she was able to make unique characters out of her co-workers and supervisors, when a lesser writer would have let them all blur together. Altogether, quite a prize of a book. I read it in one sitting.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Squirrel Circus

    Lockman can write. She was a successful magazine journalist. That part shes got covered. But, a psychotherapist? She chose to do her intern year at Brooklyns Kings County Hospital. WHY? Her fiance interns at prestigious Columbia-Presbyterian. I was forced to conclude that shes either masochistic or not too bright or BOTH. Her experience (as she tells it) is one depressing moment after another. Her supervisors are half-assed, the facilty is nasty (AND under federal investigation), the focus is NOT Lockman can write. She was a successful magazine journalist. That part she’s got covered. But, a psychotherapist? She chose to do her intern year at Brooklyn’s Kings County Hospital. WHY? Her fiance interns at prestigious Columbia-Presbyterian. I was forced to conclude that she’s either masochistic or not too bright or BOTH. Her experience (as she tells it) is one depressing moment after another. Her supervisors are half-assed, the facilty is nasty (AND under federal investigation), the focus is NOT on therapy, and psychiatry trumps psychology every day. Lockman over thinks EVERYTHING and UNDER-shares what would really be interesting. She thanks her parents for being “undisguised subjects in their daughter’s memoir” but barely touches on what she implies is a difficult relationship with her mother. She's been in therapy herself -- what has she learned? What about her fiance? How are they handling their very different clinical experiences? What happened to the patient's she met? Competent writing — boring content.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Devi

    irritatingly jaunty and maddeningly imperceptive in tone...

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kerry

    I could rant about this for a while, but to summarize: the author is an idiot.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    I was hoping this would be more than what it fell short of. I was consistently surprised at how naive and uninformed Lockman was throughout the book. Not to sound pompous but I kept thinking how in the world does this woman know less than I do when I only have a Masters degree in Forensic Psychology? Her account of Kings County and its workings are unfortunately pretty accurate (although its gotten better). I admire that she was willing to share her incompetence, fears, and embarrassments and I I was hoping this would be more than what it fell short of. I was consistently surprised at how naive and uninformed Lockman was throughout the book. Not to sound pompous but I kept thinking how in the world does this woman know less than I do when I only have a Masters degree in Forensic Psychology? Her account of Kings County and its workings are unfortunately pretty accurate (although its gotten better). I admire that she was willing to share her incompetence, fears, and embarrassments and I was relieved to see this wasn't a book all about how amazing she was at her internship because I was afraid for that and it just doesn't work like that...but I felt like that's all she had were incompetencies and embarrassments. She ends by telling you she learned some thing...and what was that? Because I can't figure it out. I kept wanting to pull her from the book, smack her, and tell her to get over herself! This book could have been a great opportunity to reflect on and inform outsiders of the frustrations and difficulties of working within a system that needs significant reform, in a neighborhood with a serious lack of resources, and inspired change but instead it just felt like her diary of complaints. Oh and I was kind of a little angry how she just threw Kings County under the bus the whole book (when really they did the best they could do given her choice of public hospital and location) and then at the very end thanks them. She sat there and chastised every professional (some understandably so) and then thanks them for their training? Oh please

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kasperrebecca

    Reading this book was painful. I was hoping Darcy would speak more about the failed system I see at work as a psychologist in an institutional setting. Instead it was just a bunch of whining. I thought it would get better. That she would eventually open up to the possibility of learning from her supervisors and her patient, but sadly it never happened. I wish I had the gift of writing so I could speak about the injustices I was hoping she would cover.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    I was really excited to read this since I love reading nonfiction about psychology and its history. However, I agree with many of the comments so far that it is sounding a bit like s personal journal lacking much thoughtfulness and responsibility to her profession.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Aubrey

    How does one make stories from an inner-city psych ER boring? I do not know, but Darcy Lockman does it.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    I had a surprisingly hard time scoring this book. I've read and liked other medical intern/resident books (The Intern Blues: The Timeless Classic About the Making of a Doctor), novels about the same (The Year of the Intern), and non-fiction about doctors (Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science), much like I devoured the TV shows about the same. I had not, however, seen a psychologist's take on internship, and psychology in general is interesting to me, so I snapped this book up. I had a surprisingly hard time scoring this book. I've read and liked other medical intern/resident books (The Intern Blues: The Timeless Classic About the Making of a Doctor), novels about the same (The Year of the Intern), and non-fiction about doctors (Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science), much like I devoured the TV shows about the same. I had not, however, seen a psychologist's take on internship, and psychology in general is interesting to me, so I snapped this book up. In some ways, it was exactly what I had hoped. It followed the paths of those other books I mentioned, showing someone just out of grad school who's new and scared and really not very good at anything learning and growing and coming into her own. In others, though, I was surprised. First, I was surprised that this psychologist was of a Freudian bent...and I honestly didn't realize that that particular brand of psychology was still taught. (It's always sounded a little too pat to me – Freud himself, with all his mommy issues and preoccupation with private bits, sounded like a real nutjob – and although I think psychology as a whole is a valuable, needed profession, I could never wrap my head around his analysis theories. I always figured it was like the homeopathy equivalent of the therapy world.) But, OK, I can get past the author's focus...I mean, I didn't study psych in grad school, so I probably really don't know what I'm talking about. Fine. I don't, however, need a graduate degree to recognize a cowardly bitch. I didn't really want to believe it at first. In the beginning, I rationalized. I figured she was new, and scared, and in an unfamiliar environment, and had no idea what she was doing, and really, wasn't it brave of her to admit to having all of those awful thoughts about her patients? Mustn't it have been so hard to tell everyone about how she'd put in the barest effort possible when, for example, assembling a group among the transitional patients in the ER and then said “good enough, I tried,” when her efforts failed? It was brave to admit that she was the reason they changed an entire facility's protocol and banned interns from charting. It must have been a challenge to admit to wanting to get it all over with (“it” being whatever rotation she was doing that month) so that she could get her license and really help people, instead of trying to learn something or, I dunno, help people in the here and now, right? It might have been, except I saw very little evidence of her wanting to help anyone at all, and instead of seeing the occasional weak moment before she rallies her fortitude or whatever and perseveres, she seemed to think of herself over her patients throughout pretty much the whole book. She's alternately disgusted by and afraid of the people she'd trained all those years to help. She passively accepts what her superiors hand her without advocating for her own education or career. She acts childish and scornful and entitled around those same superiors and then whines when they don't give her a glowing report or make an exception, wondering why they're all out to get her. She thinks cruel things about her patients, occasionally says them out loud (taking a vindictive pleasure in the damage she causes), and seems to write them off as hopeless cases awfully quickly. She naval-gazes endlessly, and still doesn't come to the conclusions that were totally obvious to me. In short: this woman is in charge of others' mental health?! All I can hope is that she's grown up considerably since her internship. However, all of this is not to say that this is a bad book. It's not. I may think the author was a dreadful psychologist in training and a pretty unpleasant person, but neither of those things prevents her from being a good writer, and if nothing else, she is that. It was a well-written, fast read. I might have made different choices about where to focus my writing had this been my book, but I had no trouble following it to its conclusion. It kept me engaged. So there you have it. Part of me wants to score this book negatively because of how much I dislike the author. Another part thinks that's silly; my contempt for the author doesn't make her internship any less interesting to read about. I wonder what Freud would say about this ambivalence... I don't know, but if I ever decide to ask a therapist, I'll be choosing someone other than Darcy Lockman.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sylvie

    Another reader made the following comment: "...and I can't imagine anyone would want to go to her for private therapy after reading this book" I could not agree more Darcy Lockman seems to lack serious base on psychology theory her patients would assume she has, barely aware of the various diseases or thought processes issues her patient are experiencing though working on her last year for a PhD. Her ignorance of psychology theory is declared but she seems to judge her analysis knowledge as Another reader made the following comment: "...and I can't imagine anyone would want to go to her for private therapy after reading this book" I could not agree more Darcy Lockman seems to lack serious base on psychology theory her patients would assume she has, barely aware of the various diseases or thought processes issues her patient are experiencing though working on her last year for a PhD. Her ignorance of psychology theory is declared but she seems to judge her analysis knowledge as sufficient for the psychoanalytic work she deems acceptable, without concern on improving in the vast areas of psychology she admits not having been exposed to after all these years of study. i'm unsure if it signals her own incompetence or a general failure of the US education system. For our sake I hope it's the former Here are a few extracts I read with dismay "I vaguely remembered that this was the hard tack one was supposed to take with an addict, but I'd never worked with any." - a Ph.D in psychology and she never worked with addicts before her last year of internship; this is surprising "...schizoaffective disorder. I had heard of this but barely knew what it was. The diagnostic came from the Diagnostic and Stastistical Manual, the DSM, which we had not paid much mind to in graduate school... The DSM was only a book of lists that I might have sat down and read with some benefits" - this actually sound like a critical book for anyone studying psychology, similar to database data modeling concepts to a database administrator. Yes I'm sure she might have benefitted from reading it.. And her patients too I believe. It seemed to me ms. Lockman had a complaisant attitude towards her lack of knowledge and I'm not sure how she could have been granted a Ph.D which is supposed to be earned by one advancing knowledge in their field of study. Another time she expresses the thought: "He was better groomed than any of the other patients I'd seen...Hope fluttered familiar; maybe there was nothing wrong with this one" - what kind of psychoanalyst hope for a normal patient in the middle of an hospital emergency psychiatry crisis center? The book itself is well written, lively and ms. Lockman introduces us well, neophytes, to the field of psychology, psychiatrists, behavioral treatments and psychiatric hospitals. Not being in the medical field the book was interesting and the stories made all the more real by good dialogues. Evidently Ms Lockman is a writer... A profession she might as well chose to stick with and would suit her better than psychology, I believe Her candor does her honor but her self-centered approach makes you grit your teeth after a while All in all, a good book to get an understanding of the psychology treatment world and made interesting to read by its animated prose so I'll give it a 2 stars

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    The author is a psychoanalytically-oriented and trained psychologist doing her internship at a large city hospital known for serving a poor and mostly minority community. It's obvious from the beginning that there's going to be a giant disparity between her training and the reality of Kings County Hospital. Among her rotations are the psychiatric ER and an in-patient unit, and most of the book is about her experiences in these two places. Amazingly, she seems to manage to hold on to her original The author is a psychoanalytically-oriented and trained psychologist doing her internship at a large city hospital known for serving a poor and mostly minority community. It's obvious from the beginning that there's going to be a giant disparity between her training and the reality of Kings County Hospital. Among her rotations are the psychiatric ER and an in-patient unit, and most of the book is about her experiences in these two places. Amazingly, she seems to manage to hold on to her original psychoanalytic theories while working with the most floridly psychotic patients. Including the idea that mental problems are a continuum, with neurosis and psychosis differing mostly by degree. I can barely comprehend this viewpoint. She says matter-of-factly such things as "...delusions represent the unconscious wishes of the parents...auditory hallucinations result from the projection of the pathological introject of the mother." If she was questioning these ideas herself, she didn't say so. I have no qualifications in that field, but personally I think they are ridiculous. So I disagree with her philosophy (and refuse to consider it a science). But what I liked even less was her attitude. She seemed to think that she was smarter and better educated in her specific area than her supervisors, and thus didn't have to treat them with respect or follow their programs. That is, when there were programs; her picture of the disorganization of the internship program and the hospital units and staff is unfortunately too believable. But she is (consciously) a classic neurotic--or you could say that she's a privileged educated middle-class white person with a lot of angst that makes her exasperating, if somewhat likable. She is equally busy feeling bad about herself and feeling arrogantly superior to people she should be learning from. (Even if some of the lessons are on how not to do things.) The saving grace of the book is when she talks about working with the patients. She obviously has a lot of compassion and wants to help. She does learn and grow over the course of the internship, and gain needed self-confidence, and I imagine she's a good psychotherapist.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    **I originally rated this book 4 stars but as time has passed, I realize more and more that this is the book I'm comparing other psychology-themed books to. I think it Ninja-ed my brain. As time separates me from it, I find myself regretting that only have it 4 stars and so I return, a little more than a month later, to update my rating to 5 stars.* Fascinating. Darcy Lockman provides a behind-the-scenes look at the way mental illness is treated in a medical setting as well as both sides of the **I originally rated this book 4 stars but as time has passed, I realize more and more that this is the book I'm comparing other psychology-themed books to. I think it Ninja-ed my brain. As time separates me from it, I find myself regretting that only have it 4 stars and so I return, a little more than a month later, to update my rating to 5 stars.* Fascinating. Darcy Lockman provides a behind-the-scenes look at the way mental illness is treated in a medical setting as well as both sides of the CBT vs. psychotherapy and the therapy vs. medication arguments. While this is a chronicle of her personal experiences and therefore, appropriately includes some of Lockman's own personal opinions on the matters, she does a great job of presenting the facts and letting you create your own opinions based on her story. I suppose her journalism experience is to thank! I found the entire novel simply fascinating, from the individual patient stories and exposure to different psychological settings, to the relationships between the Doctors, nurses, medical students and interns, and Lockman's own analysis of herself and her journey from inadequacy and self-doubt to confidence and self-reflection. A must-read for anyone who considers psychology an enjoyable recreational hobby or a potential employment path. *I won this book in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.*

  23. 4 out of 5

    Irina

    My feelings are mixed about the book. The beginning was so dull and so long I barely made it past the first chapter. I have a rule that I like to follow when starting a new book, if the beginning doesn't grab you and pull you in, then put the book down and walk away. Not following my own advice I continued on. It did get better in the middle for a bit, but mostly the narrative was choppy, very dry (with a few sprinkles of crazy here and there) and hard to relate to. I can see how some people My feelings are mixed about the book. The beginning was so dull and so long I barely made it past the first chapter. I have a rule that I like to follow when starting a new book, if the beginning doesn't grab you and pull you in, then put the book down and walk away. Not following my own advice I continued on. It did get better in the middle for a bit, but mostly the narrative was choppy, very dry (with a few sprinkles of crazy here and there) and hard to relate to. I can see how some people might be concerned about patient privacy since there are a lot of private and painful details revealed. However that is not the biggest issue for me, I couldn't relate to anyone and I especially found myself disliking the narrator. Sorry Darcy, but this book should not have been published. One more tiny thing I'd like to point out, the dust jacket notes that Ol' Dirty Bastard was a patient at Kings County Hospital, and although it never explicitly states he will be mentioned in the narrative, you are left with the impression that he might be. Realistically he or the mention of his stay has nothing to do with the book, just a tacky attempt at intriguing the reader, another let down from the book. Skip this one.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Very disappointing. I did finish it, which is why I gave it 2 stars, but it was hard work. The author is staggeringly ignorant of even basic elements of psychology, which a number of other reviewers have pointed out. She is also intolerably whiny, self-absorbed, and unwilling to take any initiative whatsoever. She blames others for the shortcomings of her experience, which was most likely difficult, but refuses to try even a little. Who gets an internship and then "declines" to meet with the Very disappointing. I did finish it, which is why I gave it 2 stars, but it was hard work. The author is staggeringly ignorant of even basic elements of psychology, which a number of other reviewers have pointed out. She is also intolerably whiny, self-absorbed, and unwilling to take any initiative whatsoever. She blames others for the shortcomings of her experience, which was most likely difficult, but refuses to try even a little. Who gets an internship and then "declines" to meet with the supervisor? Oh, and then is surprised that he finds her arrogant and in possession of a bad attitude? In addition to my dislike of the author and her approach to everything, I found that I, a layperson, know more than she does and have more updated knowledge! Her experiences were a series of encounters and not much more. She offers very little insight to her patients, their illnesses, or, as a memoirist, herself. I'm very glad I didn't buy this in hardcover and even more glad that I'm finished!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I won an ARC of this book in a goodreads giveaway. I really tried to like this book but just couldn't. I actually almost stopped reading after the first two chapters because the author just had this air of superiority to her like working with the criminally insane was beneath her and she couldn't actually believe she had to do this to get her degree. I put it down for awhile and continued reading it got more interesting but the author was just annoying to me and came across as uncaring and not I won an ARC of this book in a goodreads giveaway. I really tried to like this book but just couldn't. I actually almost stopped reading after the first two chapters because the author just had this air of superiority to her like working with the criminally insane was beneath her and she couldn't actually believe she had to do this to get her degree. I put it down for awhile and continued reading it got more interesting but the author was just annoying to me and came across as uncaring and not too bright and then wonders why her superiors didn't like her. It just wasn't for me.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Madeline Dahlman

    This book is definitely meant for those with a psychology background and will not be particularly enjoyable for those who don't have it. Some of the patient stories are interesting and the general idea of the lack of support for mental well-being is evident. But I also have a degree in psychology and a baseline knowledge of what she's discussing. This isn't for the average reader and I think even the well informed reader will be put off by her whining and "poor me" attitude.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kira

    She spends most of the book complaining about small issues she had with coworkers or supervisors, and comparing her internship to her husband's. It seemed like she was really bitter about not getting into Columbia-Presbyterian's program and felt she was above being at Kings County Hospital.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Leslie-

    I just didn't like her. It was like she was always reminding the reader that she is smarter than all her superiors & supervisors. I would have liked more about the patients. If I was going to be a psychologist it might have been more interesting.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    Ugh. Thoroughly disgusted with the author and the thought that she'd make a good psychologist because she's empathetic WITH ALL HER PATIENTS. Frankly I found her to be lacking intelligence and a bore.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Karin

    The material in this biography was interesting, but the author's attitude made it very hard for me to feel anything for her or her situation. Also, the title didn't seem quite right and that bugged me too.

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