IPT Book Reviews

Title: Memory Slips
Author: Linda Katherine Cutting
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers, 1997

HarperCollins Publishers
10 East 53rd Street
New York, NY 10022-5299
(212) 207-7520
$24.00 (c)

The title of this book comes from an incident in which Linda Cutting forgot how to finish a musical number due to intrusive thoughts of her father's incest and physical abuse. The author, who has nothing good to say about either parent, basically cures herself and seeks refuge in music. Her parents deny abusing her.

The author presents a confusing story of her emotional problems and her encounters with the mental health system. She claims she slept with a baseball bat and golf club without knowing why. Her husband's work required him to be transferred frequently and, while in Colorado, she became suicidal and was hospitalized, where the psychiatrist asked her to make a list of good and bad pain. She later fell in love with another therapist, who moved out of state but invited her to visit him. He wrote her poems, but she discovered that he had also given the poems to his daughter, and when he told her he loved his wife, she again became suicidal. In the hospital, she participated in writing therapy where she was asked to report on her dreams. Later she was in therapy with a social worker who encouraged her to report the alleged abuse by her father. Since there was no evidence, this was never pursued. The author states that only her music and pet dog comforted her, not the therapy she received. She used music to focus her mind and emotions and her music reflected her emotional pain.

The author provides a disjointed narrative that is vague and lacking in details, and she appears to view herself as a victim rather than as a survivor with skills and strengths. The book is of little value.

Reviewed by LeRoy G. Schultz, Emeritus Professor, West Virginia University.

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