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Smith, J. (1977). Betrayal, by Lucy Freeman and Julie Roy, A Giniger Book published in association with Stein and Day, New York, 1976, 263 pages, $8.95.. Am. J. Psychoanal., 37(1):89-92.

(1977). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 37(1):89-92

Book Reviews

Betrayal, by Lucy Freeman and Julie Roy, A Giniger Book published in association with Stein and Day, New York, 1976, 263 pages, $8.95.

Review by:
Jeanne Smith, M.D.

This work first seizes the reader with its judgmental title and is further identified as “The true story of the first woman to successfully sue her psychiatrist for using sex in the guise of therapy.”

Betrayal is the condensed record of a landmark trial in March 1975 which aroused the intense interest of the public and the media. Miss Roy, one of the collaborating authors, is the sad heroine of this minor modern epic with ramifications for medical and psychiatric ethics, law, women's lib, and the recent sudden inflation in medical malpractice insurance premiums.

It opens with a quotation from the Hippocratic oath: “… Whatever houses I may visit, I will come for the benefit of the sick, remaining free of all intentional injustice, of all mischief and, in particular, of sexual relations with both female and male persons, be they free or slave.”

Although presented as a factual report, Betrayal makes use of the fictional device of the flashback, and in simple, sober, and relatively unbiased prose relates the story in two alternating time sequences. From the narrative's present tense (Julie on the stand at the trial) something said will evoke an image in her past, which then takes over the narrative.

The betrayal of Julie Roy began long before her psychiatric “betrayal.” It began when her mother married a man she did not love because “I felt sorry for him” and “to get away from my family.” Julie, age thirty at the time of the trial, was the youngest of four children whose parents divorced when she was three.

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