The Man With the Beautiful Voice


Throughout her career, widely acclaimed sociologist, psychotherapist, and author Lillian Rubin has addressed some of the most important social and psychological issues of our times. Now, in her latest book, The Man With the Beautiful Voice, this gifted writer turns her keen intelligence and empathic heart to a critical look at psychotherapy–at what it teaches and what it leaves out, at what it does and what it cannot do–and argues ultimately that it promises far more than it can deliver.

For the first time, Dr. Rubin speaks “from the other side of the couch,” recounting some of her most fascinating and challenging cases together with her own experience of the difficult interactions and sometimes impossible decisions they placed before her. Each of the stories is a riveting and moving journey into the human psyche, from the secret life of “The Woman Who Wasn’t” or the moving journey into the human psyche, from the secret life of “The Woman Who Wasn’t” or the extreme regression of the patient in “The White Hat” to the smoldering rage of the title story, “The ManIn focusing on both sides of the therapeutic relationship, Dr, Rubin reveals her personal struggle to case off the chains of her traditional psychoanalytic training and develop her own often unorthodox therapeutic approach. Unwilling to be bound by rigid rules that hard experience taught her don’t work, she spends months sitting on the floor with a woman who won’t get up, strikes a bargain for weeks of silence with another who has lost her ability to tell truth from lie, cries with some patients, rejoices with others, all the while advocating for strength rather than weakness and insisting that few of us are as fragile as therapeutic theory and practice would have it.

Through these captivating tales, a thought-provoking introduction, and a moving concluding chapter, Dr. Rubin illuminates the heart of the therapeutic relationship and shows us the pain, leaning, and the healing that are part of the process for therapist as well as patient. For the millions of people who will some day seek help in a therapist’s office, for anyone who has ever been in therapy, or for those who have wondered what happens behind those tightly sealed doors, this book opens the therapeutic process to the reader’s gaze and offers both the gift of insight and something more practical–some direction for what to think about and look for in undertaking the therapeutic journey.

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