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Review: Beyond Bedlam’s Door – Mark Rubinstein

Review: Beyond Bedlam’s Door – Mark RubinsteinAuthor: Mark Rubinstein
Title: Beyond Bedlam's Door: True Tales from the Couch and Courtroom
Publisher: Thunder Lake Press
Pages: 288
Release Date: May 15, 2017
Genres: Non-Fiction
What drove a psychiatrist to enlist a patient in a plot to murder six people?

What was the secret bargain struck that allowed a 104-year-old woman to live such a long and productive life?

Why would a woman refuse to emerge from the confines of her bedroom? And after treatment liberated her, why did she suddenly take a turn for the worse?

In Beyond Bedlam's Door, former practicing psychiatrist Mark Rubinstein takes you outside the hospital and into his world of private patients, nursing home residents, and the challenging legal system in which he worked as a forensic expert. As in Bedlam's Door, great lengths were taken to preserve people's anonymity, but the raw truth of each story remains intact. The resiliency of some individuals and the venality of others are laid bare in these pages.

Beyond Bedlam's Door invites you to meet twenty-one unforgettable people. Some stories will disturb you, others will make you smile, but all will give you a deeper appreciation of what it means to be human.
Format: ARC
ISBN: 1941016251
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*I received a free copy of this book from a book promoter in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.*

Welcome to Jen’s review of BEYOND BEDLAM’S DOOR: TRUE TALES FROM THE COUCH AND COURTROOM by Mark Rubinstein!

I don’t read many non-fiction books, but Beyond Bedlam’s Door: True Tales from the Couch and Courtroom captured my interest. It sounded fascinating, and it was. Dr. Rubinstein shares true cases from his work as a psychiatrist. Each chapter details a different psychiatric case Dr. Rubinstein either treated in his office or was asked to serve as an expert witness for defense or prosecution. I expected this book to be mostly clinical. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Dr. Rubinstein shared his feelings about these experiences. Thank you, Dr. Rubinstein, FSB Associates, and Thunder Lake Press for the opportunity to read this book.

Jen’s Review of Beyond Bedlam’s Door: True Tales from the Couch and Courtroom

Quick Review

In Beyond Bedlam’s Door, Dr. Mark Rubinstein describes true patient cases, sharing his experiences with patients, lawyers, and other medical professionals in the courtroom and in his practice. The reader gains insight into some serious psychiatric disorders ranging from agoraphobia to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I appreciated Rubinstein’s candor and ethical consideration for his patients’ privacy. My only complaint is that the book felt repetitive, as if each chapter was written independently without awareness of what had already been stated in previous chapters. In particular, I grew tired of hearing about how much he was paid to be a witness, as this was rehashed in several chapters in detail. Overall, though, I enjoyed reading Beyond Bedlam’s Door. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in psychiatry.

More About Beyond Bedlam’s Door

I liked that not all the chapters were about legal proceedings. Those chapters were my least favorite because they were the most disheartening. They exposed selfishness and greed. I also liked those chapters the least because they were the most repetitive. I got tired of hearing about Dr. Rubinstein’s fees. (Maybe it was just jealousy on my part. I work full-time and don’t bring home what he made in one hour. So having to read about it again and again felt like he was rubbing it in my face.)

My favorite chapters were the ones in which Rubinstein exposed his humanity and shared how interacting with patients and lawyers affected his psyche and life outlook. I think we sometimes think of doctors as unfeeling, know-it-all robots, and this book shows that doctors have to work to maintain objectivity and professional distance. Mark Rubinstein showed the reader that it isn’t always easy. Also, he demonstrated that doctors cannot solve every problem.

As I mentioned, the book was repetitive at times. For example, one explanation of PTSD was sufficient. I didn’t need re-told. The same thing was true for some of the concepts like transference, counter-transference, and boundary crossing. On the other hand, I did appreciate that he wrote the book in a way that would be easy for most people to read and comprehend.

I wish there hadn’t been cases with open endings. It bothered me to not know what had happened to those patients. I understand that it isn’t always possible to know the outcome of every case, but I wondered if there could have been another case the doctor could have written about instead, one for which he knew the outcome.

Although I had a couple of complaints, my overall opinion of the book is favorable. I would read another book by Mark Rubinstein. Beyond Bedlam’s Door is an easy and captivating read.


Jen Schaper
I am a mom of three kids, a wife, and a wannabe author. For Books That Hook, I review books, create features and discussions, design the website, and do all the administrative stuff.

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