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Emma and Her Selves


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In this engrossing memoir-cum-psychotherapy story, May Benatar offers us three rare, artfully interwoven gifts: a riveting tale of her traumatized client's struggle to unify a fractured self, a memoir of her own troubled passage toward self-hood and coming-into-being as a psychotherapist, and an exploration of the nature of human beings. And not only this. Along the way, the author opens a new and revolutionary lens into the nature of that very favorite thing of ours--ourselves. A book to be seized and shared widely.

Sara Taber, author of Born Under an Assumed Name: A Memoir of a Cold War Spy's Daughter

This unique book will fascinate practicing clinicians and the general public alike. Therapist May Benatar openly reveals her emotions--awe, shock, helplessness --as she witnesses the emergence of multiple selves in her patient, Emma. We are gripped by their subsequent heroic journey to help Emma heal. In describing their work together, Benatar accessibly helps us grasp how the capacity to fragment into parts (or "dissociate") can be an ingenious coping strategy of the brain in the context of unimaginable suffering. We come away with a deepened sense of our own humanity, as we benefit from the author's compassionate dedication to her patient and her gifted storytelling.

Cynthia Margolies, Ph.D., trauma therapist, Washington, DC: Faculty at Center for Healing and Imagery.

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