SYBIL in her own words: The Untold Story of Shirley Mason, Her Multiple Personalities and Paintings

SYBIL in her own words: The Untold Story of Shirley Mason, Her Multiple Personalities and Paintings

by Patrick Suraci Ph.D.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780615560472
Publisher: Patrick Suraci, Ph.D.
Publication date: 11/01/2011
Pages: 392
Sales rank: 823,437
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.02(d)

About the Author

Patrick Suraci received a B.A. in Psychology from Assumption College, University of Windsor Ontario, Canada. Afte rcollege, the U.S. Army sent him to Germany and gave him the opportunity to explore Europe. He later studied acting in New York city with the legendary Uta Hagen and worked in the theatre in New York and films in Rome, London and Amsterdam with Carroll Baker. He received a Ph.D. in Psychology from the New School for Social Research. His first book was Male Sexual Armor: Erotic Fantasies and Sexual Realities of the Cop on the Beat and the Man in the Street. Dr. Suraci is in private practice in Manhattan.

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SYBIL in her own words: The Untold Story of Shirley Mason, Her Multiple Personalities and Paintings 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After reading the book Sybil in her own words, I realized the importance of this book. The people in the Sybil story are treated like human beings and are allowed to speak about their own life stories. What is interesting about this book, is that it is written by a professional who has experience with the scientific knowledge of MPD. The book shows how Dr. Connie Wilbur's treatment was successful and that Shirley Mason (Sybil) never had a relapse or return of her MPD symptoms after her treatment with Wilbur. She was able to live a full life, as shown in her interactions and discussions with Patrick Suraci, Ph.D. In chapter seven, Dr. Suraci goes back to Shirley Mason's home town to check on her story and validate it. He speaks with three women, Wilma Bode, Betty Christen and Patricia Alcott, who were classmates and playmates with Shirley in her childhood. Wilma and Betty were two of the few children that were able to enter Shirley's household. Wilma stated, "We always said that her mother was an old witch." She describes Shirley as having troubles concentrating in school and not knowing if she was day dreaming or that her attention was drawn away. Wilma is asked if she believes if Shirley was abused. Wilma states that she believes that some of what is written in the book did happen. Betty talks about Shirley's mother. She states that her mother never came over to visit, but would come over and look (or peek) in the windows when they had company. She said that "Ms. Mason relieved herself in a neighbor's yard." Patricia describes Shirley's mother as "strange, stern, raucous" and "someone to stay away from." She states that Shirley's mother (Mattie) "had a shrill voice and ridiculed Shirley." Shirley's mother repeated things over and over again. Patricia stated Mattie "played the piano too loudly, bombastically, venting anger. She was harsh." She said that Shirley's father (Wilbur) "stood in shaded corners with his head down." Patrick Suraci describes the mechanism of "splitting" that contributed to the development of Shirley's personalities. Shirley came to view Mattie sometimes as the "good mother" and sometimes as the "bad mother." In his chapter on Shirley in New York, Patrick Suraci speaks with Jim and Naomi, Shirley's closest living relatives. Jim had noticed that on the phone Shirley "was a different personality, a different person." Naomi agreed and described a strong change in personality also. Naomi in Chapter Nine tells Patrick that Shirley and Dr. Wilbur confirmed that the book Sybil "was 100% accurate." The pictures in the book are excellent. Under one of the pictures drawn by Shirley's alter Peggy of a Christmas tree (in black and white), the note describes that Christmas was unpleasant for Shirley because she would receive a lot of games and toys which her mother would put away and not let her play with. Shirley was told she could play with them another time. Yet her mother would give them away to a poor family that didn't have anything. Patrick Suraci states in his chapter Controversy Over Sybil that Mason, Schreiber and Wilbur were offered money, television and media interviews to reveal Shirley's identity, but did not do this. He discusses the problems with Dr. Herbert Spiegel's view of the Sybil story, as well as other skeptical of the story. I highly recommend this book.
JayDDS More than 1 year ago
Here is a break through book. We finally learn what really happened to Sybil after the first SYBIL book and TV movie with Sally Field. This book treats Sybil as a real person - Shirley Mason, who had a fulfilling life after her cure from Multiple Personality Disorder. The author, Dr. Patrick Suraci, knew Shirley Mason and so he is able to give a first-hand account of the incidents in her life. Even the picture on the cover gives you the impression of what a loving person she was. As a good friend of Flora Schreiber, author of the original best-selling book 'SYBIL", Dr. Suraci paints a portrait of this extraordinary person with all her fascinating eccentricities. Her diligent research gives an authentic report of Sybil/Shirley's therapy and treatment. Since Dr. Suraci knew Dr. Cornelia Wilbur, he was familiar with her dedication to psychoanalysis and to curing Sybil/Shirley. Her unorthodox treatment proved to be successful in Sybil/Shirley's recovery. Dr. Suraci's book is a must read if you want to know the true story of Sybil. It is part of the history of Multiple Personality Disorder and how it came to be called Dissociative Identity Disorder in part due to this Sybil case.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a very interesting read.
JanetC1 More than 1 year ago
I wonder if “Anonymous” read the same book I did? I did not find it repetitive and was grateful for some material being reiterated when necessary to clarify a situation. If you found him dry, I think that’s better than he being all wet. He definitely knew the facts of this case. If you recall, Shirley Mason cooperated with Dr Suraci and even gave him her permission to write anything he wished after she died in order to help others. I do not think that the other people who revealed her identify had the intention of helping anyone other than glorifying themselves.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book repetitive and difficult to finish. The writing style is dry. The subject matter is very interesting, and I did enjoy learning about the real details of "Sybil"'s life. However, it was frustrating that the author crtiticized others harshly for revealing her true identity when that is exactly what he was doing himself.