I read it over forty years ago. Takes place on a spaceship and aliens start developing a strange illness. Humans don’t know how to help them. One is a psychiatrist/ alienist and tries psychotherapy. Surprisingly it helps - turns out their symptoms were actually psychosomatic all along. Heavy Freudian overtones. I have a vague memory that the aliens had tentacles.

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    Sounds like it could be one of James White's Sector General stories, but I can't place exactly which one Commented Jun 16, 2021 at 6:31
  • @HappyRobot - Yeah, I could see this being a Sector General story - except that I've got the whole series, and can't find one that matches. Commented Jun 16, 2021 at 10:50
  • Thanks for trying - I have a vague memory that the aliens had tentacles - if that helps:-) Commented Jun 16, 2021 at 12:29
  • Could be from Hospital Station by the same author. The patient was a sapient protist colony dying from severe depression (separating into individual cells/zooids / dissolving into goo / whatever). Good doctor discovered that the patient was female and her offspring was also onboard, so he inflicted controlled distress on the child to make it scream (on some frequency) and the scream shook mom out of depression. Might have to do with mom "regressing to primitive state", which necessitated instinct-based intervention. Commented Jun 16, 2021 at 20:30

1 Answer 1


Definitely sounds like a Sector General story (James White).

All Judgement Fled, which I haven't read, is frequently described in reviews as being heavy on the psychology and the cover art conveys the idea of tentacles pretty well.

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