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March 9, 1970


JAMA. 1970;211(10):1703. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170100065030

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Since the publication of Clifford Beers' A Mind That Found Itself, many books have been written describing the experience of mental illness. Some of these have been frankly autobiographical, some in the form of fiction. One of the best and most successful of the latter was The Snake Pit by Mary Jane Ward. This was a novel about a young married woman who became psychotic, was hospitalized in a state hospital, and eventually recovered. After this book was published, the author became very active in the mental health movement, traveling, visiting hospitals, lecturing, and working in many ways to improve the conditions in hospitals.

Now Mary Jane Ward has written a sequel, called Counterclockwise, in which the heroine, after a period of exhausting activity, suffered a relapse or recurrence. This time she was treated on a fine psychiatric service, part of a general hospital. There she received intensive psychotherapy, excellent