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Dr Linda Martinez-Lewi p2

Some good book tips on psychology and a novel by William Trevor.

READERSVOICE.COM: I liked the case studies of narcissists and victims of narcissists in Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life. They were like novels, tragic novels, compressed into about a page. Do you read a lot of biographies, and novels that are about how character leads to consequences, and what are some of your favorites?

Dr LINDA MARTINEZ-LEWI: I am fascinated by the character of an individual in-depth—their earliest beginnings and the traumas, talents and deprivations that shaped them. One of the finest books I have read and studied that covers clinical psychopathology and includes fascinating probing short psychobiographies is Soul Murder by Leonard Shengold, M.D. Dr. Sheingold is a brilliant psychoanalyst who goes deeply into the personal unconscious, focusing on various forms of parental abuse including incest, attempts at psychological annihilation and extreme psychological parental deprivation. He offers rich and beautifully written psychobiographies of Dickens, Chekhov and Kipling. In the Kipling segment Shengold aligns specific passages of the author’s work with the traumatic events of his childhood.
A novel that has inspired me with its exquisite language and complexity and grace of character development is The Story of Lucy Gault by Irish writer William Trevor. He describes himself as “an absolutely instinctive writer.” Trevor explains that he “feels melancholy” when he doesn’t write and “needs of company of people who don’t exist.” Trevor believes that writers must stand outside of society so that they are able to perceive human nature more clearly. Trevor follows the intuitive flow within him.

RV: What are some popular-type books you could recommend people read if they are considering studying psychology?

LML: Prisoners of Childhood by psychoanalyst Alice Miller; The Search for the Real Self by James F. Masterson, M.D. psychoanalyst; and Theaters of the Mind and Theaters of the Body by psychoanalyst Joyce McDougall (unforgettable case examples); and The Cry for Myth by Rollo May psychoanalyst. offer fresh perspectives on the development of the original self, understanding of wrenching psychic trauma and the mysterious territories of the unconscious mind.

RV: Are you surprised by stories you hear about narcissists, always finding something new about them, or are they all basically the same and you’ve probably seen it all?

LML: The Narcissistic Personality provides an unending flow of evergreen psychological material. Each narcissist and victim of narcissistic abuse manifest their histories and psychodynamics in a unique way that I find riveting and compelling.

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– copyright Simon Sandall.