Clearly skilled at, and loving her work, her enthusiasm is contagious and while at times you may be taken aback by her unconventional approach, it is fascinating to see just how she thinks out of the box. Being a more senior member of our profession, I find this quite refreshing. Guedalia is not afraid to talk about both her successes and failures, something not everyone can and would do on paper, which is a gift that comes with age and confidence.
Her candid opinions, lack of fear, determination and skill all work together to enable her to give insightful advice and she is a strong advocate for those less fortunate in all realms of life. She demonstrates a multicultural sensitivity to those in her working environment, and she models seeing the positives in people as she notes clients’ strengths and abilities. Her appreciation of the commonalities of human behavior engenders the trust and mutual respect of her patients and in turn our admiration of her.
Whether it is to get help for a young child or to unabashedly open her home to strangers and absorb “the homeless” at her Shabbat table, her kindness, caring and dedication stand out as exemplary. I particularly liked the story of the young yeshiva student who came to her for a Shabbat meal and afterwards asked if he could come back during the week to practice piano. She gave him the combination to the lock on her door and for several months he came to her home to practice. How many people would be so generous?
Guedalia has a lot to say and I think in her desire to be all-inclusive, she may have put in just a bit too much. At times topics didn’t seem to flow or were somewhat tangential and I found myself wondering just why she chose to include what she did. This may be the fault of the editing. As one looks down the Table of Contents, one is left wondering just how history, politics, Bible, 42 case presentations, Israeli current events, her own personal story, and 25 stories about Chaim K, along with copies of speeches and eight peer reviewed articles, all come together in one book.
Nevertheless, as one searches beyond the content of this book, one sees that A Neuropsychologist’s Journal: Interventions and “Judi-isms,” is simply as unconventional as the author herself. Like the author, if you are open to it, you will learn volumes about topics you didn’t even know you were interested in. Simply sit back and take a small dose of Dr. Guedalia’s curiosity, skill in thinking out of the box and refreshing honesty and humility along for the read.
Finally, Dr. Guedalia also tells you about her own personal journey as a two-time cancer patient, and if nothing else, you begin to understand her desire to leave something meaningful behind to her family, her friends, her students and her patients. For me, reading about this fireball’s interventions and Judi-isms in action, was not just interesting and enjoyable, but a real gift.