The Ninth Session: Deborah Serani
A psychologist is a person who have been trained to do clinical therapy, personal psychological tests or conduct research . A psychiatrist can teach at a university setting or do some consulting in the business field. This person is a medical doctor and receives special training after medical school in aspects of the mind and behavior whereas a psychologist is entirely trained in the mind, behavior and personality without medical training. The job is to produce talk therapy to individuals that they see but no medicines or prescriptions. This is the job of Dr. Alicia Reese who will find herself on dangerous ground in her field and in her life when she takes on patient that will not only be dangerous but is clever, manipulative and knows how to pull her strings and keep her coming back for more thinking she can cure him. Lucas Ferro is not what he seems to be and as the author reveals more about him and his past the reader wants to alert Dr. Reese to beware and drop him as a patient. As the sessions begin you meet Ferro, and the chills begin to form throughout the reader as you realize that he is manipulating her from the start. The Coda aspect is interesting and Alicia meeting him the first time must stop a panic attack he is having or was it real? At the end of each session the author shares her notes, her findings, and her plan of treatment which focuses on triage and crisis management and claims that the patient is established. Wanting to know more she contacts his previous therapist Dr. Paula Karne t get a signed release to speak with her but not before setting up three weekly sessions with this patient.
She explains transference, countertransference and relevant issues plus a diagnose and prognosis but at first the prognosis is deferred because no clinical data was at yet amassed. Things progress in an unusual way as Alicia learns about what Ferro did and the man whose body has yet to be found and whose family has not had closure. Does she tell the police that her patient killed someone? Going to supervision she does tell her supervisor Dr. Prader who offers her suggestions but for some reason Alicia feels like she is obligated to stick with this man even though her supervisor can feel the red flags. In session two we learn more about his family history and how they created a huge ice business and that he wanted no part of it. An outcast in his own family, his parents having no use for him and constantly abused, berated and more its no wonder what he finally does to get even. She does not always think through the consequences of her actions, and she crosses the line between professional morals and ethics when she stretches the truth, does not tell the police what she really learns about him and the world that she created begins to collapse. Losing her husband Ryan makes her vulnerable and having her sister Nicole and her family does help her understanding how they communicate with sign because not all are hearing siblings, makes the story even more interesting. Her notes at the end of each session defines the significance of transference and countertransference. The first defines the patient’s unique and singular experience with her and the second refers to the therapist’s experience with the patients. She explains the process and how things change from positive to negative. As the session continue Dr. Reese becomes aware it might be wise to drop him as a patient and realizing that he has manipulating for her from start. The Coda aspect is interesting and Alicia meeting him the first time must stop a panic attack he is having or was it real? At the end of each session the author shares her notes, findings and her plan of treatments which focus on crisis managements and claims that the patient has established. Wanting to know more she contacts Dr. Paula Karne to get a signed release to speak with her before setting up three more sessions with the patient. Feeling uncertain about this patient and having the support of her supervisor, Dr. Prader and her older sister, Nicole she digs deep into his background and Alicia is now on her own. The novel deals with a timeline of the sessions as she learns the final results of the ninth session. Each chapter allows the reader to understand Alicia’s thought process until the final reveal at the end as Luke faces a harsh reality about someone that he did not know was still alive and the final scene lets you know that Alicia must come to terms with what she learned and her own life too.
The sessions and the diagnosis that she shared, the true to life experiences and the final scenes will keep readers wanting more of Alicia and this author’s work. With a main character that has a questionable personality, and the harsh truths we learn about him and yourself, this is one book that is a great resource for people in her field and discussion groups too.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews