Kearney, L. (Presenter-reviewer) & Bruce, L. (Presenter). (1986, July 20). Lawrie Bruce Program: Book Review – Corrupting the Young [Radio programme]. Melbourne, VIC: ABC 3LO Radio.
Corrupting the Young: and Other Stories of a Family Therapist
Lawrie Bruce Program, 3LO ABC Radio Sunday, 20 July 1986
Presenter: Lawrie Bruce
Book Reviewer: Clare Kearney
LB: Good morning Clare. Which book do you have for us today?
CK: A book called “Corrupting the Young and other Stories of a Family Therapist”. The stories are really quite wonderful.
LB: Tell us about the authors, Moshe Lang and Tess Lang.
CK: Well, they are both Family Therapists. She, of course, has a medical degree and he is a Psychologist – but he is a Director of Williams Road Family Therapy Centre and it is quite remarkable because apparently they used to discuss their cases and suddenly realized that when you discuss what has happened during the day, some of them are humorous and full of common sense, others are a little sad, I think, but it’s divided into 4 parts and with beautiful sub-headings, like – Part one; The problem is not with the dancers but with the dance. Part 2; (which amuses me) – he didn’t tell us anything we didn’t know already.
CK: Part 3; Seeing isn’t believing. Part 4; But what will I talk about next time? And within them are a collection of, I suppose what I consider, wonderful story telling.
Yes, some of them are very brief, aren’t they? Yes.
people have, a lot of unnecessary worry, a lot of people are very tense, aren’t they?
Less than a page – but you get an idea of the problems some
CK: Yes, it’s incredible. Well, I mean there are so many favourite ones I have. What I like most apparently starts off – when he has one of his young patients that he talks to climbs up a tree and so Moshe goes up the tree and in later discussion with the parents the boy goes home and when they ask him how it went, the boy says he had a strange and bizarre man who sat in a
tree. Lawrie, I’ve been reading it on a train and I get off the train with a smile on my face and I think if you allow time after you’ve read a story, to just think about what’s in that story.
LB: What I liked is called “The Sunday Drive”. He was dealing with a patient, young Ann, who was uncommunitive and withdrawn so he decided to bring the family in to see what the problem was so they came in and it turned out that Ann resented the family drive on Sunday, it was something that was part of the routine. The parents were astonished at the therapist’s questions about how they felt about these drives and it turned out that dad preferred to play golf and mum admitted that the preparations of the picnic hamper was a nuisance and she would rather stay home and potter in the garden anyway. Ann, of course, didn’t want to go in the first place. But the family had been locked into this routine for years.
CK: Yes, and it was the effect it had on Ann, and, I think that we get away from things – everything has to be so involved and when you read these things you are looking for some complex answer and yet there is not – it’s so much good common sense on human relations.
LB: It points out that a lot of the suffering can be eliminated quite simply without making major changes in your life. But Moshe Lang quotes Lyn Hoffman on Family Therapy, “it has more to do with theatre than literature – it’s an arena in which human dramas take place”.
CK: Yes, and I think the one story which I will not say what it’s about, which is the title story, “Corrupting the Young”. It’s just wonderful.
LB: And it’s available now in paperback. “Corrupting the Young” by Tess Lang and Moshe Lang. Clare, many thanks.
CK: Thank you Lawrie.