Monday, 13 July 2015

The Crazy Psychologist

This novel by Miller H. Caldwell features a psychologist who is working on the beautiful island of Rousay.

Doctor Angie Lawrence is the director of a new, purpose-built centre for assessing and treating damaged teenagers.

She employs interesting an unorthodox treatments. These include nude swims for some patients, sessions with an African Grey Parrot call Harry (Don't worry about Harry, he is on the staff!) and Arthur, a Bassett Hound, amongst others treatments for the patients who vary from sufferers from abuse, eating disorders, elective mutes, the overly aggressive and so on.

As part of her treatment regimen she also offers her patients some varying degrees of responsibilities, as a way of overcoming the traumas that drove them to be treated by Doctor Lawrence in the first place,

She is married to Sam, who is an artist of some renown. He is particularly gifted as a painter of seascapes and he believes that Orkney will be the perfect location for him to explore his art.

But Sam is concerned about his wife's unorthodox methods. Are these, somehow, related to the traumas that afflicted the young Angie?

Sam is torn between trying to understand the methods in her madness, or the madness in her methods.

He is trying to protect his wife from her own self and from the demons that are welling up from her own past.

But what can her do? How can he protect her from the authorities?

How can he help her to overcome the demons of her childhood before they overcome her?

This is an interesting and utterly compelling novel from author Miller H. Caldwell.

It is published by Matador at £8.99 on August 28.


  1. "The Crazy Psychologist" by Miller Caldwell is a fast moving and highly readable story about Dr Angie Lawrence, appointed as Clinical Director of the new Hazlenut Assessment Centre for difficult adolescents on the island of Rousay in Orkney. She is accompanied by her husband Sam, an established artist who is more than happy to find himself in a location with ever changing moods and an infinite variety of seascapes. Sam finds himself increasingly concerned by the way Angie handles the treatment of her sometimes difficult teenage charges. But despite some setbacks, Angie's approach sometimes makes a real and lasting difference to young people suffering from anorexia, behavioural problems, and to one boy who is electively mute. Meanwhile, she has to address the fears and expectations of the close-knit community in the midst of which the Assessment Centre has been placed, a task that means gaining the understanding of the islanders for what she is trying to achieve.

    Angie herself has a past that allows her a true insight into the problems that have been experienced by those she is caring for. Effectively orphaned as a child and then abused while in care, hers is an approach that encompasses the presence on Rousay of Harry, an African Grey Parrot, and Arthur the Basset Hound. But then events far away begin to tug at her past, leading to the danger that the person she has worked so hard for so many years to become will simply unravel. Angie has to confront the demons of her childhood face to face, finding that some of them are indeed demons to be fought against and, hopefully, overcome: while others turn out to be far more complicated than she had ever thought possible. Will Angie learn to cope with a new reality born out of the rewritten personal history that emerges from this process? Will Sam and Angie grow together or drift apart as a result of all she learns and what she becomes? You get to the end of the book having thoroughly enjoyed the process of finding out.


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