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Surviving Madness: A Therapist's Own Story

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    Betty Berzon, renowned psychotherapist and author of the bestselling book Permanent Partners, tells her own incredible story here. Berzon’s journey from psychiatric patient on suicide watch—her wrists tethered to the bed rails in a locked hospital ward—to her present role as a groundbreaking therapist and gay pioneer makes for purely compelling reading.     Berzon is re     Betty Berzon, renowned psychotherapist and author of the bestselling book Permanent Partners, tells her own incredible story here. Berzon’s journey from psychiatric patient on suicide watch—her wrists tethered to the bed rails in a locked hospital ward—to her present role as a groundbreaking therapist and gay pioneer makes for purely compelling reading.     Berzon is recognized today as a trailblazing co-founder of a number of important lesbian and gay organizations and one of the first therapists to focus on means of developing healthy gay relationships and overcoming homophobia. Her sometimes bumpy road to success never fails to fascinate. Along the way she encounters such luminaries as Anaïs Nin, Eleanor Roosevelt, the Sitwells, Evelyn Hooker, and Paul Monette. Her recollections here provide a collective portrait of her fellow pioneers and a stirring lesson in twentieth-century history.     It is, however, the intimate story of Berzon’s own private passage toward self-discovery—from mental breakdown and suicide attempts, through hospitalization, eventual triumphant recovery, and her own coming out as an open lesbian at the age of forty—that makes this memoir an urgent, insightful, and deeply emotional testament to human survival.


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    Betty Berzon, renowned psychotherapist and author of the bestselling book Permanent Partners, tells her own incredible story here. Berzon’s journey from psychiatric patient on suicide watch—her wrists tethered to the bed rails in a locked hospital ward—to her present role as a groundbreaking therapist and gay pioneer makes for purely compelling reading.     Berzon is re     Betty Berzon, renowned psychotherapist and author of the bestselling book Permanent Partners, tells her own incredible story here. Berzon’s journey from psychiatric patient on suicide watch—her wrists tethered to the bed rails in a locked hospital ward—to her present role as a groundbreaking therapist and gay pioneer makes for purely compelling reading.     Berzon is recognized today as a trailblazing co-founder of a number of important lesbian and gay organizations and one of the first therapists to focus on means of developing healthy gay relationships and overcoming homophobia. Her sometimes bumpy road to success never fails to fascinate. Along the way she encounters such luminaries as Anaïs Nin, Eleanor Roosevelt, the Sitwells, Evelyn Hooker, and Paul Monette. Her recollections here provide a collective portrait of her fellow pioneers and a stirring lesson in twentieth-century history.     It is, however, the intimate story of Berzon’s own private passage toward self-discovery—from mental breakdown and suicide attempts, through hospitalization, eventual triumphant recovery, and her own coming out as an open lesbian at the age of forty—that makes this memoir an urgent, insightful, and deeply emotional testament to human survival.

30 review for Surviving Madness: A Therapist's Own Story

  1. 4 out of 5

    Herman Plasmans

    Many people should read this book

  2. 5 out of 5

    Neil Mudde

    An amazing story about Betty Berzon renowned pschychotherapist, who tells about her background, her time spent in an asylum being on suicide watch, being locked up, to becoming a grounbreaking therapist and gay pioneer in the work focussing on theraputic means of developing healthy gay relationships and overcoming homophobia. Along the way she encounters Anais Nin, a picture op+ interview with Eleanor Roosevelt,Evelyn Hooker, the Sitwells, Paul Monette, there are some great historical notes. Some An amazing story about Betty Berzon renowned pschychotherapist, who tells about her background, her time spent in an asylum being on suicide watch, being locked up, to becoming a grounbreaking therapist and gay pioneer in the work focussing on theraputic means of developing healthy gay relationships and overcoming homophobia. Along the way she encounters Anais Nin, a picture op+ interview with Eleanor Roosevelt,Evelyn Hooker, the Sitwells, Paul Monette, there are some great historical notes. Somewhat depressing here and there, however as the Phoenix, she rises from the ashes, a great book, such a wonderful uplifing ( in the end) story.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    I received a copy of this book in a gift bag at the 2012 Lambda Literary Awards. I'm embarassed, now, to say that I knew very little about Betty Berzon. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to read the story of this remarkable woman, who gave so much to the lesbian and gay community. Berzon is the author of several books, including "Positively Gay: New Approaches to Gay & Lesbian Life" and "The Intimacy Dance: A Guide to Long-Term Success in Gay & Lesbian Relationships." I received a copy of this book in a gift bag at the 2012 Lambda Literary Awards. I'm embarassed, now, to say that I knew very little about Betty Berzon. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to read the story of this remarkable woman, who gave so much to the lesbian and gay community. Berzon is the author of several books, including "Positively Gay: New Approaches to Gay & Lesbian Life" and "The Intimacy Dance: A Guide to Long-Term Success in Gay & Lesbian Relationships."

  4. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    This reads like a biography, not a memoir (as in, it's a recounting of her life, not just a lens into a specific aspect). Although some parts were interesting, overall it was very bland and boring. The "madness" she goes through is nothing compared to that of many other memoirists. Instead of delving deep into her specific stories of therapy, she prefers to gloat about her contribution to the GLBT liberation movement. Yawn. If I wanted to read a history book, I would have done so. This reads like a biography, not a memoir (as in, it's a recounting of her life, not just a lens into a specific aspect). Although some parts were interesting, overall it was very bland and boring. The "madness" she goes through is nothing compared to that of many other memoirists. Instead of delving deep into her specific stories of therapy, she prefers to gloat about her contribution to the GLBT liberation movement. Yawn. If I wanted to read a history book, I would have done so.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Justine

    This book was extremely interesting. It does not focus on typical mental illness, though there is some of that as well. The 'illness' she struggles with throughout her life is homosexuality, which was very scandalous throughout much of her lifetime. It is interesting for history's sake, as well as seeing how she overcame obstacles and turned her life into one of the best success stories I've seen from someone who experienced all the troubles and heartbreak she did. This book was extremely interesting. It does not focus on typical mental illness, though there is some of that as well. The 'illness' she struggles with throughout her life is homosexuality, which was very scandalous throughout much of her lifetime. It is interesting for history's sake, as well as seeing how she overcame obstacles and turned her life into one of the best success stories I've seen from someone who experienced all the troubles and heartbreak she did.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Molly

  7. 5 out of 5

    Eric

  8. 5 out of 5

    A. Kuhlii

  9. 4 out of 5

    Adele

  10. 4 out of 5

    Diane

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sylvia Reece

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ally Nickert

  13. 4 out of 5

    Talkshowhostess

  14. 4 out of 5

    Matt Hancock

  15. 4 out of 5

    Yeva

  16. 5 out of 5

    Adele

  17. 5 out of 5

    Molly

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kira

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kristi

  20. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

  21. 4 out of 5

    Maureen Darcy

  22. 5 out of 5

    C

  23. 4 out of 5

    Aidan

  24. 4 out of 5

    Karla Ibsen

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jodi

  26. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea Amato

  27. 5 out of 5

    Cris

  28. 5 out of 5

    Todd Danforth

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jona

  30. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

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