Rising to the Light tells the story of Bruno Bettelheim, who for many years was the Director of the Orthogenic School, a residential treatment center for disturbed children, operated by the University of Chicago. Robert Maynard Hutchins chose Bettelheim to direct the Orthogenic School, impressed by Bettelheim's profound interest in treating severely disturbed children, though Bettelheim had no formal credentials for the job. Instead, Bettelheim drew upon his personal psychoanalysis, his extensive reading in psychoanalysis, his experience in raising an adopted mentally disturbed child, and--significantly--his concentration camp experience, which taught him that escape into a world of unreality could be a defense against living in a psychologically intolerable environment. Bettelheim is portrayed as a man who was profoundly dedicated to his mission, successful to an extent, also a complex and controversial figure who could be charming, arrogant, and gratuitously controversial, sometimes called by his detractors, "Dr. Brutalheim."
This report prepared by Ord Matek