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Books, Journals, New Media
October 20, 2004


Author Affiliations

Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA ; David H. Morse, MS, University of Southern California, Norris Medical Library, Journal Review Editor.

JAMA. 2004;292(15):1891-1897. doi:10.1001/jama.292.15.1895

Written by the psychiatrist who was Catherine Penney’s therapist during his residency in the 1960s and who continued to treat her once he was in practice, Dante’s Cure tells a compelling tale of dedicated psychotherapy in a time and a place where the 3-plus years’ hospitalization Penney underwent was rare, even then, but not unheard of. The title refers to Dante’sInferno and provides an allegory for Penney’s and Dr Dorman’s joint journey through her years of therapy, as well as for Penney’s initial state of severe confusion and emotional dysfunction. Each of the book’s nine subsections is introduced with a quote from the Inferno, reflecting a different stage of that journey and the revelations that reward the traveler who persists, despite seemingly insuperable odds.

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