Author: Catherine Gildiner
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: September, 22, 2020
Book Description: In this fascinating narrative, therapist Catherine Gildiner’s presents five of what she calls her most heroic and memorable patients. Among them: a successful, first generation Chinese immigrant musician suffering sexual dysfunction; a young woman whose father abandoned her at age nine with her younger siblings in an isolated cottage in the depth of winter; and a glamorous workaholic whose narcissistic, negligent mother greeted her each morning of her childhood with “Good morning, Monster.”
Each patient presents a mystery, one that will only be unpacked over years. They seek Gildiner’s help to overcome an immediate challenge in their lives, but discover that the source of their suffering has been long buried.
As in such recent classics as The Glass Castle and Educated, each patient embodies self-reflection, stoicism, perseverance, and forgiveness as they work unflinchingly to face the truth. Gildiner’s account of her journeys with them is moving, insightful, and sometimes very funny. Good Morning Monster offers an almost novelistic, behind-the-scenes look into the therapist’s office, illustrating how the process can heal even the most unimaginable wounds.
Rating: 4 1/2 Stars
Review: In a similar vain of writing to Lori Gottlieb’s Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, Good Morning, Monster, is a memoir from retired Psychologist Catherine Gildiner and 5 cases that shaped her career.
Gildiner focuses on 5 patients, written in 5 sections. She gives us 5 very different cases, from her very first patient, to her last patient. She will tell you horror stories of sexual abuse, child abandonment, sexual identity and that is just skimming the surface.
This was written with a lot of care, and with the permission of many of the patients. What I really loved reading was her style of therapy. She takes everything very slowly, letting her patients come the realization of what they need to do to help themselves. She develops beautiful doctor/patient relationships and gains their trust.
Let me be clear, there is a lot of triggers in this book on multiple accounts, so if you have concerns, you might not want to read this one. For anyone who thinks they can handle this, I believe you will walk away all the better for it.
Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.