Lorna Martin, the author of the memoir Girl on the Couch, had a reasonably “good” life. She worked as a writer for the Observor. She had a loving family and a group of girlfriends. But when she found herself involved in a love triangle that was threatening to become a love square, she decided to begin psychotherapy in order to get down to the bottom of things.
While I tend to think we are just about one block away from the end of Memoir Street, another one always pops up that catches my eye. I wonder, “Is there anything new to tell?” And in this case in particular, “Is there anything new to tell us about therapy?” As mentioned before, this is not a book about what we would refer to as “mental illness” but more about the feeling and position in life of being blocked. Or maybe it could be better described as feeling as if you are forever waking up in the middle of the woods with no idea how you got there and even less of an idea about how to get out. It’s confusion wrapped up with lack of perspective, ingrained habits, runaway emotions and bad memories. And yes, it’s very real, even if it lacks a name like manic depression (perhaps Martin defines it best through the use of the term “normal neurotic”).