Story By Philippa Perry
Art by Junko Graat
I fell out with books due to lazyness on my part so felt that a book on my new interest, psychotherapy, was the way back.
This isn't a essay or a lecture. It felt like a more approachable look at what can a closed and frightening career and choice. The characters act as just a medium so that we can place ourselves there.
James is, to the observing world, a fully formed and well respected person who has intellectual and financial wealth. He is a warming person who seems rather grounded despite a very nice pay check and a 'well-to-do' background. And here it comes... The 'but' you'll all sensing...
Kleptomania. The irrational and unwarranted act of stealing.
Pat is a therapist who we perceive this tale through. And like James, isn't snobby or arrogant, but likeable and... Human.
Pat reminds the reader, loudly and then subtly, that therapy is a form of friendship where a unique openness and ease is brewed: it isn't just emotions on James' side. Pat is human, sometimes rushing ahead and not managing to bracket her brackets but she gently guides us (James, the reader and herself) through therapy, the wanderings, anxiety and breakthroughs. The moment where, even I smile as something simply obvious is seen for the very first time.
It gives a realistic view, that counselling with cause pain before the biggest solutions and rewards are released and.
The end is a heartwarming tale where the cycle of therapy continues and the friendship is halted - a therapist is not a friend.
The book ends, like this review, with a quote from Prof Susie Orbach 'I loved it. I smiled and laughed. And nodded. One to read for sure'