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Synopsis

Letters to a Young Psychologist consists of a series of essays in the form of letters. As a primer on the subject of psychology, it is unique because it comes through the lens of a novelist with insightful references to the junction of psychology and literature.
Early in the book, Solares gives an overview of why the field of psychology fascinates him: “Vast regions of the human mind haven’t yet been mapped.” He encourages the reader: “I can only hope that you will fall madly in love with [psychology]. I give you these letters thoroughly drenched in that same spirit, starting with Freud and ending with the discovery of hypnosis and the volatile introduction of drugs into psychotherapy.”
Solares explores Freud's contributions and limitations, and does the same for Jung. He also tackles Behaviorism. Pragmatism, spirituality, an entertaining predecessor of Freud, Franz Mesmer, the use and misuse of drugs in psychological treatment, and role of meditation in psychology.
The Golden Coin: Freud or Jung?, an award-winning play, features an enlightening and lively intellectual duel between the two famous psychologists of the title, one of whom visits the other from the afterlife.

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