Essay City Of One Report

1777 Words Apr 12th, 2015 8 Pages
Ellen Specht
Critical Review: City of One

Francine Cournos is a medical student that turned to psychiatry after realizing that she identified with people’s stories. In Courno’s biography, “City of One”, she reflects on her past. At an early age, Cournos lost both of her parents, her father at three years old and her mother when she was eleven years old. The loss of two attachment figures at such an early age had a profound affect on Cournos for the rest of her life. Cournos analyzes her experiences as a child, young adult, and womanhood and uses her findings to contribute to explanations of her thoughts and feelings. Cournos aims to provide readers with insight into the various ways children are affected throughout life by the death of
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Several years later, Cournos began extended psychoanalysis, which helped her build an inner sense of peace. This however did not help her overall sense of depression and anxiety. Cournos decided to try taking an anti-depressant, Prozac that decreased her worries and her fear of death gradually ceased. City of One is well written and provides great insight into dealing with the death of a parent as well as life in foster care. Cournos unintentionally supports the ideas behind attachment theory. The attachment theory was largely shaped by John Bowlby, who states that a child’s dependency on caregivers extend beyond the confines of physical care and include the idea that individual differences, the core of personality, are shaped by the experiences we have with our early caregivers.
Without attachment to a primary caregiver, usually the parents, a child’s emotional health will be impaired and the infant may experience extreme difficulty in relating to others in a positive way (Bowlby 1980; Ainsworth et al 1978). When a primary attachment is ended through separation or death, then grieving takes place. The effects of severed attachment due to death are clear in Cournos’ City of One. According to Susan Goldberg, two separate attachment styles – anxious and avoidant- could be linked to grief reactions. Individuals with anxious attachment tend to show lack of trust in themselves, anxious about separations, fear of being abandoned, and they

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