Healing the Soul in the Age of the Brain: Becoming Conscious in an Unconscious World

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9780670861897: Healing the Soul in the Age of the Brain: Becoming Conscious in an Unconscious World

It is no exaggeration to say that psychiatry today is in imminent danger of losing its mind altogether," writes Elio Frattaroli, M.D., in this landmark book. What he is talking about is a medical model of the brain that denies the very existence of anything like a soul—based on big science's delusionary hope that it is actually possible to fix the soul's sickness by taking a pill. Much as we might like one, Frattaroli argues, there is no quick fix for the soul; we yearn for something more than what Prozac can provide.

Frattaroli writes with spirit, combining a Renaissance sensibility with an unshakable humanism that shows why tapping into the soul is the highest quest on which we can embark. His references hark back to Shakespeare, to Freud, to Descartes and Bohr; in drawing upon physics, philosophy, literature, and psychology, and by using riveting case histories from his own life and practice, Frattaroli illuminates some of the most complex intellectual discoveries of our time.

In the 1990s, Viking's publication of the bestseller Listening to Prozac sparked nationwide controversy and became the touchstone for one of the most widely debated issues of its time. Now, Elio Frattaroli explores what has happened to a culture that has been "listening to Prozac" and hearing nothing else.

Intellectually stimulating, and emotionally satisfying, Healing the Soul is one of those life-changing books that will become a classic. Controversial and provocative, it illuminates the route to becoming the full, rich person we each have it in us to be.

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"Healing the Soul is a fascinating, ruthlessly honest and poignant journey of one brave soul who happens to be a psychoanalyst. On all levels - from the exploration of the philosophy of mind/brain, through the brilliant critique of the drug cowboys who want to merely keep us "level" and smiling, to the intense work of being with his patients in a truly mutual, whole, and making-whole therapy process - Dr. Frattaroli's find book insists that we wake up and embrace the essence of that which is always with us, our souls." (Samuel Shem, author of The House of God and Mount Misery)

'"This is a terrific book. Elio Frattaroli illuminates hugely important truths about our innate human complexity in this fascinating excursion through psychology, neuroscience, literature and quantum physics. Along the path, he deflates several overblown sacred cows of 'modern medicine' while revealing himself to be humble, honest and a truly gifted psychiatrist." (John L. Schwartz, MD Editor in Chief, Psychiatric Times)

"In this insightful, comprehensive book, Dr. Frattaroli offers an inside view of how psychotherapy works to change lives. As a psychologist, novelist and patient, whom psychoanalysis freed to be creative, I recommend this book as a valuable tool for professionals and as an illuminating resource for anyone interested in how human beings can benefit from facing the unconscious fantasies that hold them prisoner." (Lucy Daniels, Ph.D., author of Caleb My Son, High On a Hill, With a Woman's Voice)

"We are not mechanisms! With the clarity of an insider, psychotherapist and analyst Dr. Elio Frattaroli takes on the current psychiatric infatuation with biological reductionism. As persons, we are more than the sum of our neurological interactions, even more than our neuroses. We are spirit and soul. With verve and freshness, Dr. Fratteroli leads us with practical steps toward a soul-centered psychotherapy. A lucid and important work." (Terry Real, author of I Don't Want to Talk About It: The Secret Legacy of Male Depression")

"This is an absolutely necessary book. In America, we give dangerous psychiatric drugs to our children and ask 'Should I take Prozac?' instead of 'Why do I suffer?' Surely, we are losing our minds and our humanity. Elio Frattaroli is a wise, funny, and inspiring advisor who, as a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, clearly shows us the risks we are taking, as well as the solutions available through our own insights." (Polly Young-Eisendrath, Ph.D., Author of The Resilient Spirit and Women and Desire)

"This superb new book is a much-needed wake-up call. Frattaroli reminds us that there is a person behind the symptoms-a human spirit yearning to be known and understood." (Glen O. Gabbard, M. D., Professor of Psychiatry, Baylor College of Medicine)

About the Author:

Elio Frattaroli, M.D., is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in full time private practice. He is on the faculty of the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia and is also an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania. He studied Shakespeare at Harvard and trained with Bruno Bettelheim at the University of Chicago before turning to medicine. He has written and lectured on Shakespeare as well as on psychiatry and psychoanalysis. This is his first book.

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