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Musings Behind the Couch: A Therapist's Memoir | out of stock indefinitely
Douglas H. Frayn (1936-2015)
Ash Productions / Softcover / Oct 2010
9780968834022 (ISBN-10: 0968834027)
Psychoanalysis / Biography and Memoir
price: $29.95 (may be subject to change)
This title is unavailable to order from Caversham.

Musings is a backward glance at an experienced therapist’s professional work. It highlights some of the more curious and startling events that can occur while working with complex patients. This over-the-shoulder look comes accompanied with bittersweet reminders how particularly difficult life can be for those who suffer from and treat mental illnesses.

This is not a textbook but a clinician’s memoir meant to be thoughtfully enjoyed. It outlines the role of the healer and the dramatic social and psychological events that can transform individuals from sickness to health. Myths concerning mental illness and current psychological treatments are explored and therapy suggestions are described on the basis of actual therapy sessions and their unusual outcomes.

These tales from the couch not only make for intriguing reading but will challenge and hopefully stimulate insight in all therapists who wish to expand their insight and clinical expertise through self-inquiry.

--- from the publisher


It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.
You still got that swing!
I am only a few pages into the book,
but I am already hooked.

— Dr. LSB, Psychotherapist, Lawrence@centre for mindfulness

Dr. Frayn’s musings in this book are full of wisdom, warmth and humour, as he looks back on a long career as a
psychotherapist and psychoanalyst. The book covers many topics related to psychiatry and psychotherapy,
such as psychosis, the aggressivelydangerous patient, sexuality, and the myths many people believe regarding
mental illness. What shines through is Dr. Frayn’s attitude of deep sympathy for his patients combined with a humorous sense of irony about the contradictions, and follies, of the way the human mind works. — Joseph Fernando, MD, Training and supervising analyst, Canadian Institute of Psychoanalysis; Past president, Toronto Psychoanalytic Society; Author of the recent Processes of Defense

The “musings” in this wonderful book are both a-musing and compelling. Doug Frayn, who has had amazingly
wide experience in his field, is able to take us right inside the thoughts and feelings of patients he has known.
Psychotic people become much more clearly and startlingly understandable, as do individuals with less complex
problems. As a bonus, theories and thoughts about the formation of personality, the vicissitudes of love, and the risks involved are all fitted smoothly into both historical and contemporary contexts. There is a special blending of humour and sadness we feel as we read these stories. And, in the process, we get to know Doug Frayn: a warm, wise, and deeply human psychoanalyst. — Sarah Usher, PhD, President, Toronto Psychoanalytic Society; Author, Introduction to Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Technique

This very interesting book is more than “musings”—almost a textbook for both non-medical mental health workers, enlightened lay persons, psychiatry residents, as well as those “seniors” who need a refresher course in clinical psychiatry. The title Behind the Couch in some sense undersells Dr. Frayn’s contributions as an experienced teacher and clinician— hence has a wider perspective than the reference to psychoanalysis alone would suggest. — Klaus Minde, MD, Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics; Former Chairman, Child Psychiatry, McGill University, Montreal

About the Author:

Dr. Doug Frayn is a psychoanalyst and psychiatrist at University of Toronto.

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