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The Flock: The Autobiography of a Multiple Personality (1991)

de Joan Frances Casey

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213695,188 (3.59)No n'hi ha cap
The groundbreaking first-person account of successful recovery from dissociative identity disorder, now featuring a new preface by the author When Joan Frances Casey, a married twenty-six-year-old graduate student, "awoke" on the ledge of a building ready to jump, it wasn't the first time she couldn't explain her whereabouts. Soon after, Lynn Wilson, an experienced psychiatric social worker, diagnosed Joan with multiple personality disorder. She prescribed a radical program of reparenting therapy to individually treat her patient's twenty-four separate personalities. As Lynn came to know Joan's distinct selves--Josie, the self-destructive toddler; Rusty, the motherless boy; Renee, the people pleaser--she uncovered a pattern of emotional and physical abuse that had nearly consumed a remarkable young woman.   Praise for The Flock "A testimony to [Casey's] courage and the dedication of her therapist, who believed that a profoundly fragmented self has the capacity to heal within a loving therapeutic relationship."--The New York Times Book Review   "Absolutely mesmerizing . . . the first coherent autobiographical study of its kind."--The Detroit News   "A compelling psychological odyssey offering unique insights into a nightmare world."--Kirkus Reviews   "Extraordinary . . . deftly told and studded with striking images."--Publishers Weekly… (més)
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    I Never Promised You a Rose Garden de Joanne Greenberg (kerravonsen)
    kerravonsen: Both these books show a courageous struggle with mental illness, growing towards health, and the importance of friendship and love in that process.
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First, I'd like to mention that I received a paperback copy of this book from a Goodreads Giveaway.

I read this book cover to cover, and I think that's probably the best way to do it. Not skipping the prologue or the afterword. Both are important and I feel like the afterword, which is written in a much more clinical way than any other part of the book is probably best left for the end, once you've finished reading the recounting of the events of Joan Casey's journey.

When I first began this book, there were a few things I noticed. First I was wary about the fact that Joan's therapist relied so heavily on the book Sybil, to the point where she even consulted directly with Dr. Wilbur, the psychiatrist who had seen Sybil. In fact, Lynn Wilson described it as her bible for Joan's case, had Joan herself read it and then Joan also had the afterword written by someone who had worked directly with Dr. Wilbur. The reason that I found this concerning is that now, so many years after the case of Sybil, there appears to be good reason to consider that Dr. Wilbur and the case of Sybil was perhaps not quite what it seemed and that the relationship between the two wasn't as therapeutic as readers were led to believe. However, given that Joan's therapy took place in the early to mid 1980's, however, I don't suppose it's that surprising that that was the case.

Another thing that I side-eyed about the book was that Joan decided to write it entirely from the point of view of one of her personalities. I had thought to myself that that was a very strange decision if we were to believe that she was better now. But, as I read the book, getting further and further along I began to change my mind about that and now that I've finished the book I think that my initial thoughts on it were understandable but hasty. While I think the book would've been just fine written in the point of view of the integrated Joan Casey, I no longer think that the decision to write the book in the point of view of Renee is an indication that she wasn't as well as she would perhaps have the reader believe.

There are still some things about Joan's journey that I find difficult to believe, like the age at which she seems to have had her first break in personality where her first separate personality emerged. The age isn't really specifically given, but it seemed to be in very early infancy and I'm just not sure that I believe that anyone could be aware enough, either of self or of other people, yet at that particular stage in order to have a personality break like that. Then again, I'm hardly an expert on such things and I can also see where someone might also be able to argue that we can't actually ask babies at that stage about any such things so we can really only go by our best educated guesses, which could possibly be wrong. So, I do see where someone looking at it from a different angle may come from, but I'm just not sure I agree.

I found this book to be a very immersive and intriguing read. I also found myself running the gamut of emotions, as well. Watch out for that last chapter, especially. It's a surprising doozy.

One thing I do wish that we'd gotten to see was that while we saw a lot of excerpts from Lynn's case diary on Joan and I loved that insight into what the therapist was thinking about the things going on and what Joan had been feeling and experiencing at the time, it was briefly mentioned that Gordon Wilson had made some notes of his own on navigational charts and I'd have loved to get some excerpts from them, as well as the also-briefly-mentioned recorded brainstorming sessions between Lynn and Gordon Wilson.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who is interested in first-hand, first-person accounts of what something like this is like, because I think I learned some things myself while reading this and not everything I learned was specifically related to what is now referred to as DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) but which in the book is referred to as MPD (Multiple Personality Disorder). At least according to some information I found separate of the book. And even if you aren't looking for better understanding or to learn anything, it really is just a fascinating read that will suck you right in. It's like going on the journey with Joan as she recounts her story for the reader.

Definitely a book that I'll happily keep on my shelf and take down to look through again from time to time. ( )
  madam_razz | May 14, 2017 |
This was a read most appreciated for the picture she gave of her very skilled psychiatric provider. His ability to be available to her and her family was wonderful to read. ( )
  sdkennedy | Nov 3, 2015 |
Eine ungewöhnliche Heilungsgeschichte
  Buecherei.das-Sarah | Nov 25, 2014 |
This book is an amazing read. As a reader you gain insurmountable insight into the life of a Multiple. I recommend this to anyone I know that is on a path towards teaching, social or medical work, and anyone such as myself that just wants to know more.
It's a powerful read in which you follow a young woman and her therapist as they diagnose her as a multiple and together learn how to deal with both the diagnosis and the reactions from her other personalities. I felt that I had learned so much from this woman that this is now one of my favorite books. While some parts are hard to read, due to the overwhelming emotions, the overall message of hope and learning to deal with life's struggles is a very important one that I have taken with me years after I first opened the book. ( )
  MooqieLove | Feb 22, 2014 |
Author Casey (a pseudonym to protect her privacy) is/was a person with Multiple Personality Disorder, a disassociative disorder. Many people are familiar with the disorder from ‘The Three Faces of Eve’ or ‘Sybil’. This book is unique in that it tells the story of her treatment and integration from the POV of one of the personalities.

Joan Frances Casey was abused terribly when she was a child, both sexually by her father and physically and emotionally by her mother. Her personalities emerged to allow her to deal with these assaults. Very intelligent and a high achiever, she entered college early and got her bachelor’s degree very quickly. But her marriage ended, and, feeling like a failure, her primary personality came to consciousness on a window ledge. She decided she needed to try therapy one more time.

Lynn Wilson was a psychiatric social worker for the college who realized something that Casey’s previous therapists hadn’t: Casey was a multiple. Knowing that the personalities had emerged because Casey had never felt safe in her childhood, she started on a path of re-parenting Casey, allowing the various personalities to feel safe and to know it was all right to feel and express the emotions they embodied. Wilson did not have any training in this; she did it all intuitively. And it worked- Casey integrated over about 4 years, much more quickly than most MPDs do. Most therapists think she went over the top with the case, bringing Casey into her own family and ‘adopting’ her as a fifth daughter, but it worked. For both of them, and for Wilson’s husband, who became a co-therapist.

It’s a very interesting read. We not only see things from the main personalities POV, but Wilson’s diaries are interspersed with the main narration, allowing us to see both sides of the therapeutic process. It’s a much more personal book that ‘Sybil’ or ‘Eve’ or the other books on MPD. Recommended. ( )
1 vota lauriebrown54 | Jan 2, 2010 |
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No n'hi ha cap

The groundbreaking first-person account of successful recovery from dissociative identity disorder, now featuring a new preface by the author When Joan Frances Casey, a married twenty-six-year-old graduate student, "awoke" on the ledge of a building ready to jump, it wasn't the first time she couldn't explain her whereabouts. Soon after, Lynn Wilson, an experienced psychiatric social worker, diagnosed Joan with multiple personality disorder. She prescribed a radical program of reparenting therapy to individually treat her patient's twenty-four separate personalities. As Lynn came to know Joan's distinct selves--Josie, the self-destructive toddler; Rusty, the motherless boy; Renee, the people pleaser--she uncovered a pattern of emotional and physical abuse that had nearly consumed a remarkable young woman.   Praise for The Flock "A testimony to [Casey's] courage and the dedication of her therapist, who believed that a profoundly fragmented self has the capacity to heal within a loving therapeutic relationship."--The New York Times Book Review   "Absolutely mesmerizing . . . the first coherent autobiographical study of its kind."--The Detroit News   "A compelling psychological odyssey offering unique insights into a nightmare world."--Kirkus Reviews   "Extraordinary . . . deftly told and studded with striking images."--Publishers Weekly

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