Abraham Verghese – Soundings

Clinical work often involves intense interactions with patients and their carers, and sometimes this can be very draining. Coming to terms with the nature of care, and negotiating the balance between the demands of home and a clinical calling is a complex process which is not easily described. In every situation, and for every individual, there will be different choices and accommodations. Abraham Verghese gave an unforgettable account of his struggles with these choices in Soundings, his first book, published in 1994.

In America Soundings was published as My Own Country, but a more direct description of its … Read more...

Tanya Byron – The Skeleton Cupboard

Tanya Byron is now a well-known media personality, a journalist, a campaigner for children’s mental health, and a public communicator of science. But she trained as a clinical psychologist. This book is a fascinating, riveting and also humorous account of her first year of clinical training.

The people portrayed in The Skeleton Cupboard are apparently fictional, made up from the many clients and colleagues that Tanya Byron has known. This is inevitable given the professional requirements of confidentiality and anonymity. But it raises questions about the authenticity of the overall account.

That said, the book is very believable, although Tanya’s … Read more...