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Beyond Bedlam's Door: True Tales From The Couch & Courtroom    by Mark Rubinstein order for
Beyond Bedlam's Door
by Mark Rubinstein
Order:  USA  Can
Thunder Lake Press, 2017 (2017)
Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Jessica Maguire

In Bedlam's Door, Mark Rubinstein, MD, wrote a truly fascinating non-fiction book about mental illnesses and the havoc that can be created in the lives of its sufferers. This award-winning novelist is back with Beyond Bedlam's Door, a collection of twenty-one case studies that explore the human psyche.

This collection of true stories explores the questions that arise from many complex cases. Questions such as why a psychiatrist would not only plot a mass murder, but would get a patient to help him, are explored. Post traumatic stress disorder is examined when someone who cheated death in the World Trade Center during the 9/11 terrorist attacks lost all zest for life, while others in his situation were elated to be alive. And why would a once home-bound woman, thriving under treatment, suddenly revert back to her old ways, yet even worse?

I find these stories to be quite fascinating. The fascination lies in that Rubinstein is focusing on unscripted life as it is played out by average people. He does so in a way that is considerate of the people whose stories he tells, their privacy and dignity always respected.

A particular story I like is that of Sidney, the author's dog. When Sidney accompanies his person to the office, a peculiar thing happens. Uncomfortable patients who share very little start opening up and sharing their fears, wishes, and feelings. Sidney quickly becomes a canine co-therapist of sorts. Sidney is a fine example of the comfort and ease an animal can impart to humans.

On a final note, there is no need to feel you have to be a psychologist to understand or be interested in this book! The reader will find a helpful glossary to better understand the pertinent phrases and concepts of these case studies. This volume is a smart read for anyone interested in exploring the human psyche.

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