2018 New York Book Festival Honorable Mention.
Finalist Personal Growth category of the 11th Annual National Indie Excellence Book Awards.
Intriguing, Powerful, Insightful, Compelling, Fantastic Read! I Loved It!
June 29th, A Goodreads Review
..."Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Hatching Charlie: A Memoir" is an inherently fascinating, thoughtful, and thought-provoking read from beginning to end." The Midwest Book Review
..."You’ll read your story in this beautiful book. Then you’ll wake up, determined to embrace life, your life, broken as it is, and to make some meaning out of the broken pieces." Reader's Favorite
..."The imagery adds well to the overall narrative, which is compelling. If I’d had more time, I’d probably have read it in one sitting...the book truly covers the full gamut of human experience – warmth, love, friendship, loneliness, unhappiness, violence, despair: life and death." Literary Titan
...4.5 Stars. "Socrates famously said that the unexamined life is not worth living. By reading about how others, such as McCormack, have examined their lives, perhaps this task is made a little easier for the rest of us." The Portland Book Review.
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.
An emotionally charged, inspirational, thoughtful and humorous book filled with wisdom, psychological insight and relationship truth, "Hatching Charlie: A Psychotherapist’s Tale" is both an autobiography and a quest story. In spellbinding fashion, it interweaves the life journey of Charles McCormack with his becoming a counselor and psychotherapist. Born into an abusive home and spending early years in the racist Jim Crow South witnessing segregation first hand, Charlie at age eleven is then involuntarily exiled to a Catholic boarding school in France unable to speak the language. There he is subjected to further abuse. Cut off from family and friends he struggles with fear and depression. Isolated from those around him, Charlie is disoriented and confused. Adrift, he feels a determination to make sense of his life, his world, his relationships, and his place in them, a core need that will shape the rest of his life.
But the going is not easy. Charlie flounders, is a mediocre student, fails high school, is expelled from college, and goes on an odyssey to Mexico where he meets a psychologist turned auto-mechanic who plants an idea in his mind. After this encounter Charlie decides to pursue a career as a counselor and psychotherapist. He returns to school, finds he’s a natural, and eventually earns a master’s degree in psychology and then another in clinical social work. Subsequently, working on a long-term psychiatric locked door inpatient unit he suffers PTSD following the suicide of a patient, begins writing, becomes published, and encounters career success. He is invited to join the faculty of the Washington School of Psychiatry, promoted to Senior Social Worker of Long-Term Adult Inpatient Services at a psychiatric hospital in Baltimore, named the Clinical Social Worker of the Year in Maryland, and writes a book on how to treat “difficult to treat” couples entitled “Treating Borderline States in Marriage: Dealing with Oppositionalism, Ruthless Aggression and Severe Resistance” that is well received.
Yet, as his career is evolving his personal life is disintegrating. He is forced to confront mental illness in his own family, divorces twice, suffers a return of anxiety and depression, and faces the impact of his early relationships on his own capacity for love and loving, and of being a father and grandfather. Throughout his journey to his own interior, Charlie continues to struggle with those early questions, "What is life about? What’s the point? How can one be happy? How can one be secure in relationship? What is love? What is loving?" In so doing Charlie “truly covers the full gamut of human experience – warmth, love, friendship, loneliness, unhappiness, violence, despair: life and death." (Literary Titan) His insights and answers will surprise you.