Book Review: "Resources for Extraordinary Healing"

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Book review of "Resources for Extraordinary Healing" by Wendy Burnett for PsyWeb.com

"Resources for Extraordinary Healing: Schizophrenia, Bipolar, and Other Serious Mental Illness" by Emma Bragdon, PhD, is itself an extraordinary resource for those interested in recovering from mental illness, instead of maintenance for life on expensive, disabling medications.

Medication has its place in treatment

Unlike many similar books, the authors are not anti-medication. They believe that medication does have its place in treatment, but that the current dependence on poly-pharmacy as the only treatment modality is short-sighted and causes more problems than it solves. Instead, they advocate short-term use of medication, as needed; in conjunction with other, more holistic methods.

Comparison of treatment methods

There are comparisons of the Western (US) methods of treatment, which mostly involve 20-minute medication appointments with little other support or treatment; and methods used in other countries, which depend much more on resolving the causes of symptoms, or learning to live with and use symptoms in a positive way, rather than simply attempting to medicate them away.

Personal stories

The book also provides many stories of patients who have recovered, as well as doctors (and others) who are successfully helping patients without dependence on the lifetime use of medication.

“For each of these women and so many others, healing of spirit is at the core of psychological and physical healing. The change in thinking that becomes possible as we free out spirits can change our way of relating with the world. We shift from thinking that our bodies are under attack and that we have to fight for health to understanding that we can choose health by attending to the ecosystem within. We release fear and reclaim personal power. Peace and a healthy respect for our ecosystem/planet have a much better chance of flourishing when we focus on possibility than when we defend against threat. We find that we actually do have the capacity to heal our world.”

Research, resources, and other information

"Resources for Extraordinary Healing" is filled with references to other sources and research for those who are interested in more information. It also contains a comprehensive list of resources for those who are unhappy with the results they're getting from their current treatment and would like to try different methods in addition to, or instead of, the treatment they're currently using.

Recommendation

This book should be required reading for everyone involved in the the treatment of mental health differences, and is highly recommended for patients and family members.

 
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