Today we welcome Dr. Katherine Cook, protagonist of award-winning suspense author Jennie Spallone’s Psychobabble. Learn more about her and Jennie at Jennie’s website.
Would You Hire Me For Your Therapist?
By Dr. Katherine Cook, Ph. D.
Ever heard the story about the shoemaker’s son who goes barefoot? The kids of mental health professionals fall into a similar category. Actually, it’s even worse for us. As a psychologist, I speak from personal experience when I say we mental health professionals become too fixated on untangling our own childhood traumas to help our children and clients wrestle with their mishigas, which my Jewish friends define as craziness.
It’s tough to admit, but I believe I am losing my mind. For the last few months, I’ve been passing out, discovering household items I never purchased, experiencing diabolical headaches, and hearing voices. Don’t worry – I took a leave of absence from my domestic violence counseling practice so as not to negatively impact my clients. Also, I have no children to gift with a genetic disorder; at thirty-two-years-old, my motherhood dreams have dissipated in direct proportion to the decreased number of dates I’ve gone on in the last few years.
The doctors have given me every test under the sun -- or so they say -- but my physical, psychological, and cognitive tests have all proved negative. I’m frustrated that no one can diagnose my condition. I’m definitely not hallucinating a mental disorder!
I’ve thumbed through the DSM 5 hundreds of times for my domestic violence and pedophile survivor clients, but this time, I feel ambivalent. This time it’s all about me. Although anxious to know the truth of my medical condition, a voice inside my head says, “You don’t want to know.” I’ve sifted through my negative childhood memories – mother mauled by lion when I was five, adopted by aunt and uncle, hospitalized for allergic response to chocolate, divorced from professor – nothing overly dramatic. My psychiatrist says I undervalue the traumas I’ve experienced. I tell her my clients’ horror stories make mine sound like fairy tales – which, I admit, are actually horror stories for young children.
Carol Sobel, Psy. D., my psychiatrist, was my mother’s colleague before mom got killed. She refuses to even entertain the possibility that the psychological test results she’s given me might be wrong. She agrees that I’m not bipolar, also known as manic/depressive; this disorder occurs in older teens or young adults. However, we disagree about Schizophrenia, a brain disorder that distorts the way a person thinks, acts, expresses emotion, and perceives reality. While Schizophrenia usually occurs in young adults, it can be diagnosed into the early 30s; I’m 32, a prime candidate.
I would very much appreciate your emotional support as I continue my quest. It is only when I discover the source of my medical condition that I will gain peace of mind. Only then will I have the knowledge I need to return to the work I love.
You can reach me through my friend’s website: www.jenniespallone.com
Thank you in advance for the strength to carry on….
Katherine Cook, Ph. D.
Dr. Katherine Cook, Ph.D, struggles with frequent black outs, memory loss, and impulsive behavior. Items she’s not purchased turn up in her desk drawer and refrigerator. After neurological and physical tests come back negative, the Chicago domestic violence psychologist fears she is losing her mind.
As Kate wrestles with her health situation, a serial killer of pedophiles is on the loose in the City. CPD detectives Maggie O’Connor and Monroe Jackson plod through a tangled web of leads, while the FBI chomps to take over the Case.
Then Kate’s colleague reveals a member of the support group they cohost may be involved in the killings. Now the psychologist must decide whether to betray the anonymity of their members, or allow a serial killer to walk free. Either way, she will be forced to confront childhood truths she’s kept hidden for two decades — even from herself.