New memoir reflects on time spent in 1960s mental hospital

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Laurel Lorraine Lancer shares personal experiences with readers in ‘Just for the Summer’

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After becoming a mother, author Laurel Lorraine Lancer began having panic attacks. She developed agoraphobia and, upon recommendations from a psychiatrist, checked herself into a private mental hospital.

Lancer’s new book, “Just for the Summer: Memoirs from a mental hospital” (published by iUniverse), describes her experiences during her month-long stay in a mental hospital in the 1960s. Her writings detail the approaches to treating mental illness as well as how the hospital staff treated Lancer and her fellow patients.

Over the course of her stay, the hospital staff subjected Lancer to treatments that were common in the 1960s – electroshock and insulin therapy. With a blend of humor and compassion, Lancer recounts how she and other patients reacted to these therapies and the true outcomes that resulted.

Lancer’s stories reveal the relationships between patients, their families and the hospital staff members to illustrate how mental illnesses were understood and received in the public and medical communities. Her writings serve to compare and contrast past and present understandings about mental illness in an entertaining manner.

“As a society, we are still dealing with difficulties in treating the mentally ill,” Lancer says. “The book tells the manner of treatment given at that time in our society. I would want the reader to more deeply experience and understand the emotional problems of others and to understand that much still needs to be done in way of treatment.”

“Just for the Summer”
By Laurel Lorraine Lancer, Ph.D.
Softcover | 6 x 9 in | 268 pages | ISBN 9780595485369
Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author
Laurel Lorraine Lancer, Ph.D., is retired from teaching and counseling. She earned advanced degrees in higher education and psychology. She previously published “Love Is In This Room,” “A Walk From The Sea” and “Where Fairies Are.”

iUniverse is an Author Solutions, LLC, supported self-publishing services provider that partners with Berrett-Koehler to offer Open Book Editions and True Directions – in partnership with Tarcher – a division of Penguin Books. Additionally, iUniverse maintains a strategic alliance with leading Canadian Book retailer Indigo Chapters. To recognize excellence in publishing, iUniverse offers select authors the Star Award, Reader’s Choice, and Editor’s Choice designations based on specific criteria. To learn more about iUniverse’s publishing services, please visit or call 1-800-AUTHORS. For the latest, follow @iuniverse on Twitter and “Like” us on Facebook at

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