Alumni Book: "Hatching Charlie: A Psychotherapist's Tale"


New book by alum Charles Creath McCormack, MSW '80

If you've ever wanted to read someone's diary, be a fly on the wall during a private exchange, or wondered what someone, possibly your therapist, really, really thinks then Hatching Charlie will roundly satisfy that curiosity. It's a fascinating read if you just leave it at that, but, in doing so, you'd miss a rare invitation to be guided through elements of your own personal story on a parallel plane.

This book will take you on the life trajectory of one talented psychotherapist, who with candor, humor, spice, and great self-reflection tells how he "hatched" himself to find his professional calling, after many detours that could have meant a permanent derailing. He also reveals his own personal relationship struggles in the universal attempt to find love. In so doing, he offers hope to us all when we flounder and can't, for the moment, see a clear and promising path forward.

He generously shares the details of a psychologically lonely youth of disrupted attachments due to constant moving and the callousness of a narcissistic father. We agonize with him through an excruciating banishment, at 11 years old, to a boarding school in France where sadism seems to be the guiding principle. He portrays, through the lens of his own hard-won experience, the scars and challenges created in soldiering through childhood alone. In this way, he connects the dots to his adult life and empathizes with all of us humans who, more or less, must pass through from childhood to adult and find our own individual way.

It is an inspiring memoir about how one person grappled with fear and isolation, and through the alchemy of self-understanding, forged a far more gratifying adult pathway. His sharing of his experiences as a therapist on an in-patient, long-term psychiatric unit alone is worth the read.

For anyone desiring to be touched by one individual's journey in wrangling with the great questions of life, in the hope some of your own might be illuminated, this is a wonderful and wise book. Written with humor, humility, clinical expertise and a loving respect for life and the human condition, Hatching Charlie heroically breaks new ground in the autobiography genre. Now available on amazon.com in print and kindle versions. Should be on audible.com by 5/1/17.

8 views

2020 University of Maryland School of Social Work

Office of Communications  410.706.4542  bulletin@ssw.umaryland.edu