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Good Morning, Monster: Five Heroic Journeys to Recovery

4.47  ·  Rating details ·  93 ratings  ·  26 reviews
A therapist creates moving portraits of five of her most memorable patients, men and women she considers psychological heroes.

Catherine Gildiner is a bestselling memoirist, a novelist, and a psychologist in private practice for twenty-five years. In Good Morning, Monster, she focuses on five patients who overcame enormous trauma--people she considers heroes. With a
Paperback, 368 pages
Published September 3rd 2019 by Viking
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Oct 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, can-con, arc, nonfiction
Madeline would try to sneak potato chips into her room between restaurant meals; every morning when she'd round the back servant stairs to the kitchen, hoping for some breakfast before school, her mother would greet her by saying, “Good morning, monster.” Then she would accuse her of skulking for food. Yet the restaurant meals were never sufficient, since Charlotte would force Madeline to say she wasn't hungry. Her mother would say, “One day when you're not a fat pig, you'll thank me.”

Marci -
Sep 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
At first, I had to take a break after reading the first of Cathy’s heroes as it was triggering me with some stuff that had happened in my own life a long time ago...No family is perfect right? So then last night I immersed myself once again and I could not put it down until I was finished.

Cathy captures her former clients with such clarity amid the ugliness of what they are experiencing and giving it a human touch. We are all human whether we have money and privilege or are just getting by.
Pat Mills
This is a revealing book about troubled lives, hope, guidance and recovery. Recovery that seems sometimes so unlikely and quite remarkable. Brings to mind the saying that cracks are where the light gets in, as these peoples lives seem buried under a great weight of childhood rubble, blocked into a hard impenetrable shell of doomed destiny. And yet they persevered, survived and recovered a semblance of self and thriving life. Such admirable and indeed heroic people. Gildiner bears credible ...more
Jen Bober
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Catherine Gildiner shares the stories of 5 clients/heroes in her latest book Good Morning, Monster. These people are absolutely heroes and warriors and I was in awe of their stories. Gildiner a psychologist for over 25 years details the treatment she provided and the journey these 5 clients faced as they opened up on their path to recovery. As someone who works in the social services field I was very invested in hearing these stories and how each story progressed. These stories were not always ...more
Paula Caplan
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Do not miss Cathy McClure Gildiner's new book, Good Morning, Monster! I just finished reading it aloud to my mother, and we never wanted to put it down! It is Gildiner's compelling, thoughtful, honest description of her interactions with five people she saw when she was a therapist, all five of whom had undergone various horrific early life experiences, and how they worked intensively together and at length, with each person ultimately recognizing their remarkable strengths and resourcefulness, ...more
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"They show us how to dig into our own psyches and shine a light on thoes parts the lie in shadow."

This book is so good!! Once I started I couldn't put it down!

Gildiner a psychologist, memoirist, and novelist has chosen 5 of her most memorable patients, whome have overcome sever trauma and abuse through therapy. Patients that she now sees as psychological heroes for the work they did to battle and unpack years of burried suffering.

With honesty, humour and pristine storytelling
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! The case studies chosen drew me in immediately and made me feel all the different feels. Having studied psychology in school I knew most of the terms and theorists being referred to, but it was also educational in an easy way that wasn’t shoved down your throat. I was lucky enough to receive this as an ARC and I would 100% buy it and recommend it as a read. 5/5 for sure!
Judy G
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a very well written true story of the psych therapy work by Dr Gildiner in toronto Canada years ago. I doubt that this is a book for Everyone. the subject is specific psychological work for patients dealing with issues in their relationship mostly with themselves and the with others. She addresses her work with 5 patients and one only is male and the first patient Laura really was her first patient about 30y ago. Madeleine might have been her last patient and just before working with her ...more
Oct 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Retired Canadian psychotherapist Catherine Gildiner subtitles her good work of non-fiction Five Heroic Journeys to Recovery and recounts the inspirational stories of five former patients whom she considers heroes for their lives of struggle, their hard work in therapy and their willingness to share. All have given permission to use their experiences, but, even so, their stories are told in such a way as to retain their anonymity - Laura, Peter, Danny, Alana and Madeline. Psychotherapy itself is ...more
Anne Caverhill
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-shelf-2019
Catherine Gildiner is a gifted story teller yet the haunting hurt that these 5 individuals explained as they sought her help as a psychologist, shattered and exploded, even in the pristine world of the written word. Sometimes, I had to look away, even as a seasoned social worker —- stunned at the depraved way in which parents can hurt their children. And not only mom and dad, Priests too,in that one of the clients was a Cree man who had weathered the psychological, physical and sexual abuse of ...more
Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Canadian psychologist Catherine Gildiner shares the journeys of five heroic patients and their journeys to recovery in this very powerful book.

At times this book had me tearing up, at other times sitting shaking my head and yet at other times with my mouth dropped open in disbelief. Gildiner's writing is fantastic and the order the stories are presented in was just right. As a stronger supporter mental health and psychotherapy, this book spoke to me in many ways. It is definitely
Erin Mcleod
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've been a fan of Catherine Gildiner's writing since I first read her autobiography, Too Close to the Falls, a painful and hilarious take on her unusual childhood and family dynamic. Psychology and creative writing are a great combination, and although most of Gildiner's work is non-fiction, she does approach it with a great sense of narrative and writes compellingly, conveying the humanity of her subjects very well. Good Morning, Monster was a wonderful opportunity to see into the lives of ...more
Jane Mulkewich
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A fascinating can-not-put-it-down kind of book. It gives insight into the human condition, how psychotherapy actually works (because the author actually tells us when she made mistakes and could have done better/differently), and how with "therapy and call display" (as one patient put it), and enough innate strength of character, some people can overcome some pretty horrific childhood trauma. The stories of cruelty of what a parent can do to a child! The whole book was important reading but for ...more
Sep 10, 2019 rated it did not like it
This book simply didn't work for me. I felt the author was just not telling a story. It was more of a summarized report on her patients, quite hasty and one sided. Yes we know this patient is severely absused and neglected as a child and that's why she's so rough and dry on the outside. But what do you have to tell about her other than that? What is the story here? I also felt uneasy with so many strange phrases like "I intervened, I questioned...". Why read recounts of 4 years of therapy in 10 ...more
Ann Frost
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was suggested to me because I liked Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. This book too is by a therapist and here she documents five particularly difficult cases and the brave, hard working, and incredibly resilient people involved in them. Warning: at least one of the cases is difficult to read. All are interesting, rich examinations of healing from horrendous parental abuse (or in one case, abuse meted out in a residential school). And in all cases, with the aid of the therapist and ...more
Ann T
Sep 12, 2019 marked it as to-read
Thank you Penguin Random Canada and Netgalley for this ARC in return for my honest review.

Catherine Gildiner is a psychologist and her book takes the reader through the therapeutic journey of five of her most heroic clients. These clients have overcome enormous trauma and this wonderful book details how, through their therapy this journey occurred.

If you love reading about the human mind, resilience and Therapeutic practices this book is for to7.

Thank you for the opportunity to review this
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I actually rated the book 4 stars; for some reason it shows only 3 stars in the reviews section. Excellent book & writing! Incredible lives & journeys for 5 survivors of incredibly difficult situations along with discussion of the effects of them, & of her therapeutic processes & interventions with the people involved. The end result is better understanding of various pathological diagnoses, & often the underlying causes of the behaviour of the tormentors.

I have read
Karen Hyatt
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating yet very troubling true stories of people overcoming extreme circumstances. It's hard to believe what some people have to deal with in life. These five individuals each survived terrible abuse with the assistance of the author. I admire her ability to dig down to get at the roots of the problem in each case, and her perseverance in helping these troubled clients come to understand themselves and have the strength to face the past and the courage to move forward in their lives.
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed it. She writes really well and keeps you super interested. First book in a long time where I couldn’t put it down. The stories turned out positive instead of what you normally see in people who’ve been through trauma. Loved that she was canadian as well and how she wrote about an indigenous man and his cultural trauma
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I liked this book a lot. This psychologist writes on 5 of her patients.
It's a very interesting read. I liked reading about each case and
seeing what it took to help these people. I enjoyed reading about
her work and seeing what it took to turn things around for these
people. Thank you so much, Netgalley, Catherine Gildiner and
her Publisher for this amazing read!
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Breathtaking. The best memoir I've read all year.
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A remarkable book about five individuals who, through long term challenging therapy, affect significant change in their lives.
Sam Banack
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Amazing book. Readable for the layman and fascinating to reflect on
Noelle Walsh
Oct 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Catherine Gildiner does a good job relating the stories of five of her patients to her audience. each would be considered "broken" in some way, all are sympathetic individuals who were hurt terribly by circumstances beyond their control, learning to heal. Overall, I think this book is a worthwhile read for anyone interested in psychology.

*won as a GoodReads Giveaway*
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Oct 22, 2019
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Catherine has written two best selling memoirs. The first is called TOO CLOSE TO THE FALLS and was on the best seller's lists for two years. It is about working full time from the age of four.

Her next memoir AFTER THE FALLS covers her teenage and college years where she got involved in civil rights and was investigated by the FBI.

COMING ASHORE, her final memoir is coming out this fall. It is about