The more you read articles, studies on psychology, family relationships, more relevant than ever issues of psychological assistance, the more often it seems — a little more, and the family psychologist will take the place of a friend. And in general, psychotherapy will supplant all other close relationships. Thought so? Still would!
The image of a psychologist has long been involved in films and books. It seems that it is teenage literature that should flourish with such plots. The figure of the psychotherapist has already become central both in matters of family relations and in the growing curve of teenage depression, and social issues also require discussion.
But in fact, there are few such books. Of the known to the Russian reader, one can name the book series by Marie-Aude Murai «The Savior and the Son».
The Savior Saint-Yves (clinical psychologist, native of Martinique, widower, has a 9-year-old son Lazarus) receives in Paris, on Rue Murlin. I immediately want to say that the Savior is the main character of the series, but … is it exactly so? After all, the history of each patient is not disclosed episodically. (This is exactly why the cycle is called a series). It seems that everyone here is the main one. Sisters whose parents are divorcing. A sloppy guy who is afraid of his mother and prefers to sit at home, closing himself off from life. The girl who refuses to look «like a girl». A teenager whose mother suffers from a mental disorder. Strange homeless. Children of the new girlfriend of the Savior himself and her ex-husband. A whole gallery of characters reveal their family stories. Each of these stories turns out to be familiar, and now you observe with intense attention: what do we have in common and what is different? How — right? Who is guilty? And most importantly, of course: what to do?
We tend to look in fiction for answers to real questions. That’s why she exists! There are enough real, helpful tips in the Marie-Aude Murai series. You just need to read carefully.
But the question is: is it really about mental problems?
We will see the classic image of a person with a mental disorder, in fact, only a few times: Gabin’s mother and a funny, but really unhappy old man who thinks that his neighbors are spying on him. Gabin will become one of the favorite heroes, and as for the old man, the Savior with his inherent sense of humor does not blunder here either. In the episodes there are portraits of teachers, schoolchildren and a school nurse, Saint-Yves neighbors and his relatives and acquaintances with a detective intrigue … detective intrigues are enough here! Samuel (well, the one who is afraid of his mother) is the son of a famous musician (who is also afraid of his mother, although she has long been gone). The Saint-Yves family has survived a tragedy with many secrets, which does not leave him in Paris either. Who is the really homeless Zhovo?
One thing makes the main character of the Savior: most often the reader looks at the situation through his eyes. And here lies the secret of the psychologist’s name. Of course, a black native of Martinique, tolerance, racial tolerance. But here is the main intrigue: in the end, all roads lead to the house of the Savior. The stories of all his patients are intertwined and connected. The psychologist himself violates professional standards more than once or twice.
“A psychologist should not be so human,” say the Savior’s real colleagues, not bookish ones.
Saint-Yves sacrifices his time, safety, personal space. It is not for nothing that the border between his study and the rest of the house appears so often in these stories. This is the most indistinct border in the world.
A psychologist shouldn’t be so human. Unless, of course, he was going to make friends out of patients.
So the Savior is a symbolic name. It is probably impossible to attribute the series about a family psychologist from Murlen Street to professional literature.
But to a big and important conversation about all of us — you can. And it is necessary.
No wonder all the characters in these five books are somehow connected with each other.