Brooklyn Zoo: The Education of a Psychotherapist

Brooklyn Zoo: The Education of a Psychotherapist

by Darcy Lockman

In this excerpt from psychologist Darcy Lockman's book, Brooklyn Zoo: The Education of a Psychotherapist, follow Lockman through an ordinary day as a post-doc at a notorious Brooklyn psychiatric hospital. 
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    Editor's Note: Following is an excerpt from Brooklyn Zoo: The Education of a Psychotherapist, by Darcy Lockman. © 2012 by Darcy Lockman.


    I woke a woman named Ophelia for morning group, and she was not pleased. “You woke me from my sunder,” she kept repeating in an angry voice. She followed me into the dayroom anyway. A man named Juan was dancing in the hallways, and I corralled him, too. There was a third patient, a woman, she looked a little slow. And Mr. Rumbert again. I asked them to speak about why they were in CPEP [Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program].

    “I came for a bed, but I was double-crossed,” said Ophelia.

    “My fiancée called 911 after Shabbos dinner,” Juan said, which sounded funny because he was clearly Mexican.

    “Why did she call?” I inquired.

    “You’d have to ask her,” he replied.

    The woman who looked slow said she’d done crack for the first time and was full of regret.

    She began to cry.
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    © 2012 by Darcy Lockman. Published by arrangement with Doubldeday, an imprint of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.
    Darcy LockmanDarcy Lockman, PhD, is a clinical psychologist in private practice in New York City. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Psychology Today, and Rolling Stone, among others. She lives with her husband and baby daughter in Queens.
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