Saturday, June 30, 2012

Brooklyn Zoo by Darcy Lockman

This is the second ER book I have been asked to review written about a NYC mental hospital.  I think I rolled my eyes a bit when I got it in the mail.  This one took place in a less toni hospital in Brooklyn that was over taxed, under staffed, and generally scruffy.  The writer, a psychology intern, tries to make sense of her year of experiences: the good, the bad and the ugly.

Darcy Lockman seems largely unlikable to me. Her peers apparently agree as she shares the horrifying moment when her supervisor tells her that while she is an adequate therapist, no one particularly likes her.  That section of the book endeared me to her.   Can you imagine, building up a sort of hatred for a memoirist, wondering why she got into this field of work because she clearly has disdain for everyone and everything and then having her confess that everyone feels the same way?  I kind of loved that angle.  You are redeemable Darcy Lockwood.  Really!

Ms Lockwood profiles many encounters with patients, the ups and down of working in the most notorious mental hospital in NYC, the supervisory struggles she has, the definite conflict between psychologists and psychiatrists (Guess which group of people looks down their noses at the other?), and the often backwards approaches to therapy many well meaning professionals take when the setting is less then ideal.

I both loved and hated this book.  It did get a little dull at times, but she did have some interesting observations and insights into psychology and mental hospitals.  Her own story was the most compelling and had sort of a sweet ending. The year she learned to love and now loves to learn from.  I recommend this if you are at all interested in a career in therapy or the ins and outs of a mental health professional.  It is more personal that the first one I reviewed.

I'd love to loan it to anyone.


Steph said...

I appreciate all your reviews!

Anonymous said...

You might want to look at the person's name you are reviewing, it is printed on the front of the book. The author's name is Darcy Lockman, not Lockwood. It makes me wonder how carefully you read the book, the name is repeated on almost every page.