Dec 13

“Your Voice in My Head”: Therapist Loss

Your Voice in My Head is every drink that’s ever started out sweet then turned strong enough to sneak up on you and kick your ass to the floor, or bed, or hell, or heaven. Dan Kennedy

Your Voice in My Head (2011) by author/screenwriter Emma Forrest is introduced by the publisher: “Emma Forrest, a British journalist, was just twenty-two and living the fast life in New York City when she realized that her quirks had gone beyond eccentricity. In a cycle of loneliness, damaging relationships, and destructive behavior, she found herself in the chair of a slim, balding, and effortlessly optimistic psychiatrist—a man whose wisdom and humanity would wrench her from the dangerous tide after she tried to end her life. She was on the brink of drowning, but she was still working, still exploring, still writing, and she had also fallen deeply in love.”

And then the unexpected loss occurred. “One day, when Emma called to make an appointment with her psychiatrist, she found no one there. He had died, shockingly, at the age of fifty-three, leaving behind a young family. Reeling from the premature death of a man who had become her anchor after she turned up on his doorstep, she was adrift. And when her all-consuming romantic relationship also fell apart, Emma was forced to cling to the page for survival and regain her footing on her own terms.”

That romance, by the way, was apparently with actor Colin Farrell. (She doesn’t name him in the book.)

Forrest’s Perception of Dr. R.

Emily Gould, New York Times: “She renders Dr. R.’s gentle elicitations with affecting subtlety; at one point, as her story of a near-rape intertwines with her story of a session, we understand both Dr. R.’s compassion and the tenderness and trust that characterized Forrest’s relationship with him.”

Adds Kirkus Reviews, “Forrest says much about Dr. R., but concludes, ‘I liked how he saw me. It’s that simple.'”

In addition to being let in on Forrest’s personal experience, readers also get to read some letters from other patients of Dr. R.

Additional Reviews

Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story“Emma Forrest is as hilarious as she is wise. And did I mention generous? Unlike most memoirs this is not merely a song of oneself, but a debt of gratitude repaid to an incredible man—her psychiatrist. Your Voice In My Head is touching, funny, and very real.”

Joanna Smith Rakoff, author of A Fortunate Age“I read Your Voice in My Head in one sitting, by turns laughing out loud, gasping with recognition, and fighting to hold back tears—and wondering, of course, who is Emma Forrest and how is she able to write with such enormous wit and bravery about subjects most folks can’t muster the courage to bring up in conversation: suicide, self-loathing, loneliness, depression, mania, and, most of all, love inexplicably lost.”

Nicholas Lezard, The Guardian: “The healthy have a hard time imagining what goes on in damaged minds: we should be very pleased that someone as articulate as Forrest has described it.”