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Summary

Tales from the Couch is collection of actual case studies and a primer on psychopathology as well as a captivating reflection on the human condition. Drawn from Dr. Bob Wendorf's 36-year career as a clinical psychologist, the book examines the lives of some of his most troubled patients in a project that aims to both educate and fascinate the listener. Clinical syndromes are described and dramatized by real-life case examples (altered only as necessary to protect patient confidentiality). Each of the 16 chapters focuses on a particular psychiatric diagnosis, including multiple personality disorder, Asperger's, and ADD.

The clinical picture and symptoms are described and explained, then brought to life by case examples taken from the author's practice. Dr. Wendorf presents the cases as a series of narratives - some dramatic, some humorous, most quite poignant. Along the way, the author offers his own reactions to the people and events described here and application to the general human condition as well.

Tales from the Couch offers compelling stories of extraordinary people, clinical conditions, and events - both in and out of the therapy hour - while providing insights into the nature of human beings, mental illness, and the psychotherapeutic enterprise.

©2015 Bob Wendorf (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Tales from the Couch

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shocking

As a psychology student this book shocked me, the author, actively promoting spanking for kids and calling an overweight man 'a pig' and apparently it is every middle aged man's dream to have an affair with a teenager !!! what the heck! I am appalled and disgusted...

29 people found this helpful

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Enjoyed apart from.

Too much reference to how his female clients looked and the size of their breasts. It made for uncomfortable listening at times. He did not refer to his male clients in the same terms or comment on their looks in the same way.

14 people found this helpful

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Funny but very simplistic.

Very simplistic. Read it for a funny, happy-ending Hollywood story. Not a psychology book That will teach or inform.

8 people found this helpful

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perverted and sensationalised

started well, a few interesting insights. But focused on the gory and dramatic, particularly with mpd section. Some very outdated attitudes, assumptions and quite misogynistic, belongs in the 70s.

3 people found this helpful

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Better than I expected

I really enjoyed this book it was really interesting and got more interesting as it progressed. As an unexpected bonus I also self diagnosed my own disorder as a result of listening to it!

3 people found this helpful

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An interesting Psychologist's memoir

*Note I am reviewing the audio version of this book*

I really enjoyed the Tales from the Couch audiobook a lot. I wasn't sure when I first started listening as to how the format would be, whether it'd be more about Dr Bob's life or if it'd be centered around the patients he'd had.

The book tturned out to be a really interesting insight into a Psychologist's experience, but do bear in mind a lot of the patients' he refers to in his memoirs were treated I'm the 70's-90's which is important to remember when he comments upon mental health disorder names, general observations & treatments!

I also really enjoyed the format, where each chapter he focuses on a different conditions/ disorders eg: BPD, MPD, ADHD etc and despite being well educated on mental health & having been trained and personally knowing people with said disorders, I learnt some interesting facts & insights that I will take with me.

Narration was good & I somehow felt that it 'matched' what he'd sound like! Easy to listen to, interesting, humorous & well written would definitely suggest if this is an area of personal interest.

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Fantastic!!!!

Loved it, gave so much information on Multiple personal disorder that I had no idea on!

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Gripping and informative

Very informative, the author very clearly knows his stuff. It's fascinating to see the way these conditions work.

However, there is some content regarding sexual assault that I feel could have been flagged better.

2 people found this helpful

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A book to forget (and possibly burn)

I enjoyed a few of the stories, but couldn't get over the constant judgemental attitude, and rampant misogyny of the author. The mere fact that a practitioner candidly violates patients' confidentiality, mocks and belittles people with severe conditions, and gets away with it on a professional level is appalling.
He shows compassion towards aggressive adolescents in the first two chapters, but demonstrates lack of understanding in many ways as the book continues.
He refuses to update his clinical vocabulary because according to him "retarded" is a perfectly fine definition, and cannot keep to himself sexist and honestly disgusting remarks.
At one point he even claims that it's every middle age man's dream to have sex with a teenager. How can this guy still be working as a medical professional?!
Psychology and psychotherapy have evolved way beyond his limited beliefs and so has language. Has anyone told this guy black people are not to be referred to as "negroes" anymore??
This book has been published in 2015 for f***'s sake!
I'm glad lots of people found this book insulting too. I hope it disappears from bookstores for good. Yikes.

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Horrendous!

It didn’t take long before I realised why this is free. This psychologist is unethical, dodgy, and disrespectful to his patients. He let his kids talk to his patients on the phone and they knew all about them, no confidentiality, and had rude nicknames for them. He says at the start that he didn’t ask for permission from his patients to talk about them, just changed a few details, but if you recognise them, try not to say anything to them. 😳😱

If he was from the uk he would be struck off for multiple offences, but he is American. The narrator is good and lively but the book is a shocker.

The author seems to take glee in describing the most gruesome details of crimes and abuse, with no sense of empathy or that this is upsetting.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Tania Corona
  • 11-11-20

Oddly offensive

Detected racist language, *sad face*. I don’t really enjoy the author’s analysis honestly- the stories and his life are amazing, sure- however the part of the gangsters in the ghetto is what lost me.
I get others may love this audiobook, it may be their taste in language, the stories themselves are interesting and even the man himself graduated from my university- but still left a bad taste in my mouth.

Hope this review helps someone

11 people found this helpful

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  • Dawn
  • 09-11-20

Extremely Outdated

If you are reading for entertainment, then this is a good book. If you are interested in psychology or someone in the field, this uses outdated concepts and unethical psychological practices..... I wouldn't recommend it as a model for anything except for tidbits of information, and maybe some examples of what not to do.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-09-20

What a horrible therapist

If I were to read this book before I found a really great therapist, I don’t think I would ever pursued or worked towards getting help. This therapist is a hack and a shame to the profession.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Amanda Horowitz
  • 07-03-21

terrible

offensive. I couldn't finish this terrible book. this therapist is a narcissist and im glad he's not my provider.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 30-10-20

A Sad, Sad Excuse for a Therapist

I could not finish this book. It hurt my heart to think of this man's patients. He has no positive regard for them, little empathy, and no skill at all for helping them explore their pain and grow beyond it. I was shocked and sickened at the ways he dealt with people who came to him in need of help. In one case, he actually recommended that a mother deal with her troubled little boy by spanking him with a switch. In another case, he refers to a woman as the person from a previous chapter "who lost 100 pounds for me". WHAT? He thinks that was for HIM? No one needs such a patronizing, egotistical "therapist". I don't know if this man is still in practice, but he certainly shouldn't be. If you're looking for an account of a caring therapist leading his patients to healing, don't bother to read this book.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Nice Girl
  • 02-06-19

Self-Important Drivel

Long ramblings of a psychologist with a savior complex who blurs client boundaries and seems to revel in the exploitation. Gross.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Sophgirl
  • 27-12-20

Outdated

It is interesting to hear about this therapists’ clients, but it’s disappointing to hear him use outdated, racist language and to hear him advocate for threatening children to be spanked with a switch as an intervention for a child’s bed wetting. It was at that point in the story that I had to stop listening.

4 people found this helpful

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  • meghan
  • 04-01-21

Case study in how far *I hope* this field has come

The human stories are interesting, as is the glimpse into psychology 30 years ago. But, and it's a BIG but, I seriously hope no one is reading this for advice, compassion, and certainly not parenting or counseling guidance. The narration is great, I just wish the narrator was given a book written in an inclusive and trauma informed way.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Nikhil Teja
  • 13-10-19

Author seems FOS

Author is rather dismissive and disrespectful of particular diagnosis. He acts like he’s an MD and a PhD when he is simply a PsyD with no hard sciences background.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Lea Milburn
  • 29-10-20

So hard to listen to...

I couldn’t get past the first few stories of his time in residential. Trauma informed care must not have been implemented at the time this was written. Author talks about threatening to throw a kid through a window to gain his respect. Goes on to talk about how restraining clients gained their affection. I couldn’t go on reading.

2 people found this helpful