Wednesday, October 3, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: "The Good Psychologist"

The Good Psychologist
By Noam Shpancer
Copyright 2010
Henry Holt & Co, LLC
Adult Fiction

I have always believed that most psychologists are folks who are a little nuts (in a good way, of course) and basically just want to figure themselves out (this is also why I think I would have been a GREAT psychologist).  That theory is fairly evident in this debut novel by Noam Shpancer.  The main character works in a center for the treatment of anxiety where he meets his latest client, a stripper whose anxiety has brought her an inability to get back on stage. 

The psychologist deals with his own strange attraction to the stripper, all the while trying to encourage her to work through her fears.  At the same time, he maintains a strangely obsessive relationship with another psychologist he had met at work and had a brief fling with at a business conference.  He casually relates the fact that this fling ended with a child coming into the world (a child he has never met before), and casually mentions the fact that the other psychologist is married.  It is obvious he has never really dealt with the issues surrounding that little love triangle and, frankly, he doesn't even know how to begin to examine his own role in it all.

In the meantime, the psychologist also teaches a night class and we get some nice diverting "lessons" thrown into the midst of the story.  Add an angry boss (you know, the guy who runs the strip club waiting for his favorite stripper to overcome her anxiety and get her naked butt back on stage), and a lot of interesting self-talk, and it made for a fairly entertaining read.

I don't know that I would read this one twice, but I didn't feel like it was a total waste of time either.  Just a kind of interesting little trip into the psyche of a psychotherapist. 

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