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Secrets Unraveled (Book) Review


At a Glance...

Page Count: 161
Year Published:
Final Score
3/ 5

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We liked?

An interesting look inside the therapy process.

Not so much?

Focuses more on the feelings associated with the therapy than the therapy process itself.

Final Fiendish Findings?

Secrets Unraveled is a truly unique book – a tale of a rare psychological condition told from the perspective of both the sufferer and her therapist.

Posted March 3, 2014 by

Full Fiendish Findings...

Overcoming Munchausen Syndrome

Secrets Unraveled is a truly unique book – a tale of a rare psychological condition told from the perspective of both the sufferer and her therapist. It offers an inside look at the condition, from both sides of the table. As Andrea works her way through therapy, Thomas works his way through to becoming the type of therapist she needs.

Beginning with a childhood fraught with so very much traumatic abuse, Andrea Avigal has suffered so much in her lifetime. Rape, abandonment, physical abuse, and more have colored the way she views the world. And yet, she managed to mostly keep things together…until her young son died. It is this terrible event that is the straw that broke the camel’s back, and Andrea is soon lost in the midst of her own pain – which she controls the only way she knows how.

Andrea  suffers from Munchausen Syndrome. Even though those around her don’t know it, she is making herself ill in a variety of mind bending ways. As she spirals deeper into her issues, her body also spirals deeper into illness. She is risking her very life in a desperate cry for attention, yet she can’t stop. While it all sounds like something you’d find in a made for tv movie, this book is real. Written in turns by Andrea and her psychotherapist, it follows her harrowing journey from the life threatening illness to a new lease on life.

Secrets Unraveled is told from recollections written by both Andrea and Thomas of the times they shared together through the years of Andrea’s therapy, and of the issues that caused many of her problems to arise. While hindsight offers many insights into a situation, nothing gets right to the matter like actual writings from those years of therapy. And as Andrea and Thomas maintained an email relationship in order to help Andrea during the times in between appointments, those emails provide some of the most insightful commentary on those issues presented in the book. The emails provide an in-the-now look at exactly what both of them were going through at the time.

I found the concept of Secrets Unraveled to be fascinating. The ways that the human mind comes up with to deal with incredibly traumatic situations never cease to amaze. While the book offered a lot of great insights into Andrea, her life, and her therapy, it definitely focuses more on the feelings of both Andrea and her therapist than the specifics of therapy itself, which was admittedly a little disappointing. Still, it’s a rare look into a rare disorder, and is an enjoyable read for all who find the human mind fascinating.


U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, @averyzoe on Twitter, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)