Robert A. Berezin, MD, taught psychiatry at Cambridge Hospital, Harvard Medical School, from 1974 to 2004 and has been in private practice for forty years. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Nancy. They have three grown children and two grandchildren.
Psychotherapy of Character: The Play of Consciousness in the Theater of the Brain
Eddie’s mother was up on a ladder cleaning the kitchen ceiling when her water broke. She was annoyed at the interruption, and the mess.
Contemporary psychiatry has fallen under the sway of biological reductionism, where our patients do not receive proper care. They are treated primarily or exclusively with psychoactive drugs. The result has been a pharmaceutical epidemic, with psychiatric drug sales topping $70 billion a year. Pharmaceutical psychiatry ignores the complexities of the human condition as if the agency of human suffering can be cured by a pill.
Eddie never really enjoyed swimmingâ€¦. he couldn’t stop water from pouring into his nose and sinuses. It didn’t occur to him to tell his counselors, never mind his parents, where he could have gotten nose clips. It didn’t occur to him that anyone would be responsive to his needs.
In Psychotherapy of Character, Dr. Berezin presents a much-needed alternative to the prevailing doctrine, one that is grounded in an understanding of human nature. Suffering is not a brain problem, it is a human problem. He illuminates the practice and effectiveness of psychotherapy through the story of his patient, Eddie. Eddie’s complicated inner life, varied experiences, and ultimate breakthrough, stand in contrast to the destructive and false promises of a magical cure. He introduces a new and inclusive paradigm of consciousness for the twenty-first century.
On the surface, he lived a successful college life. Eddie was due to graduate with honors, and was accepted into a prestigious PhD program in biology. All the while, he felt alone and dead inside. No one really knew him.