Publisher description for Not the thing I was : thirteen years at Bruno Bettelheim's Orthogenic School / Stephen Eliot.


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He was called crazy. As a child, he probably was.

Sent at age eight to Bruno Bettelheim's Orthogenic School among autistics and schizophrenics, Eliot found himself in a world without drugs or locks on the doors. Instead, fine china was on the table. The staff believed to help a child, you had to understand how he saw the world and persuade him that there might be more successful ways to interpret it. Bettelheim had been in the concentration camps. He figured if the Nazis could build an environment to destroy personality, he could build one to create it.

A fascinating coming of age story that's a cross between One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and The Ciderhouse Rules. L'Express hailed the author for his "lucidity and devastating humor." Marianne writes, "The child who thought of himself as merely a pulsing brain invites us on a voyage back from the frontier of insanity and we return transformed." A must read for parents, teachers, therapists and troubled adolescents themselves--so that all can see there is light at the end of the tunnel.


Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Eliot, Stephen, Mentally ill children Illinois Chicago Biography, Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School, Bettelheim, Bruno, Child psychotherapy Residential treatment Case studies, Psychoses in children Treatment Case studies, Child analysis Case studies, Child psychiatry Case studies