Deborah – in „I never promised you a rosegarden“ – was partially desouled by an operation at the age of 10. The shock of the surgery and the dishonest and deceptive behavior of the doctors caused such pain that her consciousness was almost flooded with ego. The world became gray, two-dimensional. As dead as it appears to the pure ego. In the summer camps where she was bullied as a Jew a few years later, her psychic helpers showed themselves to her for the first time as a young person in the form of angels, gods and the land of Yr.
The apparent change that these forces later underwent from helping beings to fearful and threatening tyrants was not actually a change in the beings themselves. It was a change that took place in Deborah’s consciousness. Because of her circumstances as a Jew among established Protestants and the grandfather who had molded her consciousness to harshness, stridency, pride and anger – elemental characteristics of the ego – the power of the ego within her grew and at some point hijacked the consciousness‘ perception of the soul yr and its beings. It flooded the consciousness and used the images of this soulish world for its own fearful purposes. The fearful ego recognized in the psychic Yr a wonderful „construction“ into which it could be excellently withdrawn. Only, the real Yr is a true and healing retreat in the psychic world of oneness. A space that could balance, that could dissolve pain. The Yr of the ego, on the other hand, became a retreat space from fear into even greater fear. A space of the ego within itself. A flimsy copy of soul truth, as it always is when the ego tries to copy soul aspects. The true yr was no longer perceived by Deborah’s consciousness. A sleight of hand that made it appear as if the beings themselves had changed. The „basic concept“ Yr was then further expanded by the ego and became the manifestation of fear with all its consequences. Instead of healing by the soul helpers there was now only a downward development in which fear resonated with fear and intensified from day to day.
The cure by the psychiatrist, Dr. Fried, consisted of convincing Deborah’s ego that it was living in its own illusory construction with built-in fear amplification, and returning it to the generally accepted world of the ego, in which Deborah could then act appropriately. This seemed sufficient. A cure that would have led to a balance between ego and soul was not sought. In view of the fact that Deborah later married a psychotherapist, it can be assumed that while her „function“ in material existence has been restored, the actual imbalance caused by the excess of pain in her consciousness has not been balanced.
That’s it in other words: She wrote numerous writings on neurology and psychotherapy: In her essay On Loneliness she pointed out the importance of loneliness for the development of mental disorders and mental illness. She contrasted this loneliness with the doctor-patient relationship as a healing interpersonal encounter: The therapist should build a bridge for the patient to go from the great loneliness of his own world to reality and human warmth.
„The therapist should know that his role is over when these people are able to find for themselves-without hurting their fellows-their own sources of satisfaction and security, regardless of the approval of their neighbors, family, and public opinion. Such an attitude is necessary because, as a rule, the cure of a schizophrenic does not consist in the transformation of the personality that already existed before the illness into another kind of personality. In this sense, schizophrenia is not a disease, but a specific personality status with its own forms of life. I am convinced that many schizophrenics could get well if the goal of treatment were understood in terms of the needs of the schizoid personality […] and […] not in terms of the non-schizophrenic, conformist „good citizen,“ psychiatrist.“
– Fromm-Reichmann: Intensive Psychotherapy.