The Bronze Cast

A Novel

Pam Stavropoulos

A man who has attempted to surmount trauma with willpower consults a female therapist. In the process of client-therapist interaction, with the stakes high for each of them, personal and professional boundaries intersect in navigation of a path for which there are few signposts.


The casting-open of wounds in authentically therapeutic interaction


What I love about The Bronze Cast –– a novel I read entirely in one sitting –– is the way the author Pam Stavropoulos so deftly and tentatively navigates an inkled path to the revealing self-concealing truth of what is incipiently at stake in a genuinely empathetic “client therapist interaction”.

In the present scenario, the focus of attention for client and therapist alike is to regain the well-being of a man named Ryan who desperately seeks relief from what have become debilitating anxiety and panic attacks that are ruining his life. For her part, the therapist Clea, while not privy to the source of Ryan’s as yet unfathomable discomfort, is attentive from the outset to emerging hints, including in dreams [Grm: Träume] of an unknown yet memorable trauma [Grm: Trauma < the Grk word for “wound”] in Ryan’s past. How can Clea comport herself empathetically toward Ryan’s emotional distress (and its alleviation) if she is unwilling or unable to bare her empathic soul to her own self? As a psychotherapist for whom the inspiration and discipline of clinical appraisal (“supervision”) by another psychotherapist (“supervisor”) is critical, the author obliges Clea to lay bare the soul of her therapeutic approach to Ryan in regular supervision sessions with Robert, the man who is her therapist-cum-supervisor. In her usual role on these occasions she is not just Ryan’s therapist but Robert’s ‘client’. This adds another dimension to the novel’s superbly in-depth exploration of the high stakes involved for those who care to be bold enough to engage in the casting-open of wounds (sufferings, bearings) ‘of the mind’ in an authentically healing interaction. This novel gives us, its readers, a rare insight into the open-reveal (and self-concealing) of psychology (the logos ‘of the psyche’) and the care-ful practising of psychotherapy (the healing ‘of the psyche’). Marnie Hanlon, BA(Hons), PhD
17 December 2019

like it a lot


Nice novel and very good insights