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Book Review: Literature and Psychotherapy, Dr Ashoka Jahnavi Prasad

Psychoanalysis and psychotherapy remain poorly understood and poorly utilized tool in India. Aside from suffering the usual taboos when it comes to the diseases of the “mind”, there is a general lack of good practitioners. In this context, I took it more as an opportunity to learn something new about a specialty I had very little knowledge of, when asked to review this book for India Medical Times.

Literature and PsychotherapyI have to say I was so pleasantly surprised that I took up this “task”. I ended up reading one of the best books I have read over the last decade. It is a very intelligently worded compilation of fictional anecdotes of interactions between practitioners of psychotherapy and their patients. Each chapter is a new story contributed by some very experienced professionals. Almost all the stories are very well written and make you keep turning the pages. A sense of excitement and a feeling of exploration do not leave the reader till the end. In addition to learning about a relatively less known specialty in India, stories are very thought provoking and entertaining. Each story gives you some fresh perspectives about your own personal life and one wonders as to how much of the material in it is truth and how much fiction.

I can’t think of making many criticisms for this book. A couple of the stories are perhaps too long. I would also have liked to know more about all the authors. English is a bit too tedious to grasp at places and you have to read the sentences again but then that may reflect my own power of understanding rather than authors’ ability to express some very complex human thoughts and emotions.

Overall, I recommend this book for anybody wanting a good read. It is however not light reading and will leave you with some very powerful thoughts. Perhaps a solitary retreat rather than a family holiday would be a better time to enjoy it.

Literature and Psychotherapy
Author: Dr Ashoka Jahnavi Prasad
Paperback: 322 pages ($10.59)
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 28, 2014)

Reviewer: Dr Kamal Mahawar

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