Psychosis in the Family is a book written not just by a professional transpersonal psychotherapist but by someone who has walked the heartrending path and experienced the psychological trauma of loving someone in psychosis; psychosis which still remains the “greatest taboo” in society today, together with its implicit diagnosis of a lifelong sentence of medication and no cure.
The 21st century has seen a significant shift among us to take more responsibility for our illnesses through being able to access unlimited information on diagnoses and treatments through the Internet. To date, severe mental illness has been a particularly closed book, with only psychiatrists and mental health professionals professing to know its secrets and mysteries. In particular, psychosis has been a subject which for centuries has lain behind the locked doors of the experts just as the severely mentally ill have been hidden away from the public eye in locked wards.
This book is in the main a personal and moving narrative of a mother looking to help her son avoid a lifelong sentence of medication while trying to research holistic resources and alternative approaches for treatment while negotiating the vagaries of the mental health system. It is often a tale of despair and frustration, yet also gives a compassionate voice. Transpersonal and transgenerational psychotherapeutic insights back up the personal narrative. It includes an accessible inquiry into how unconscious forces influence our mind, our bodies and the entire family system. Its hypothesis is that if we cannot understand our own unconscious responses how can we understand those of our loved ones in psychotic episodes? This is a highly readable, provocative weave of story and theory, one of the great untold stories of our time.
Reviews and Endorsements:
"I recommend this book as a moving account of a woman's struggle to get help for a son suffering from psychosis. It vividly portrays the problems faced as families try to cope with mental illness, against a background of confusion and sometimes indifference amongst mental health professionals."
- Professor Richard Bentall, author of Madness Explained
”This amazingly vivid account grips the attention from start to finish, evoking poignantly what so many have experienced: the sheer excruciating, unfathomable, ungraspability of the experience and nature of psychosis on any single model. The devastation wrought by the inadequacies and bureaucratic closedness of our mental care systems is painfully articulated, yet it is not anti-psychiatric, and one of the heroes is a psychiatrist. Familial, and intergenerational, fault lines are agonisingly evoked, yet without going down the ‘schizophrenogenic family’ model. This is a book full of pain, full of madness, yet full of sanity. Psychotherapy is affirmed, but does not get off scot-free either! It is both a clarion call about the failures of our services, yet an awesome message of hope and overcoming!'"
- Heward Wilkinson, UKCP Fellow, Chair of UKCP Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy Section, Integrative Psychotherapist, Psychiatric Nurse, and author of The Muse as Therapist
Table of Contents:
Acknowledgements; About the Author; Preface—Professor Franz Ruppert; Note to the Reader; 1) Drawing the Line; 2) Living in the Shadows; 3) Disorder, Disorder; 4) Finding Kindred Spirits; 5) Surrendering; 6) The Wounded Storyteller; 7) The Power of the Multigenerational Psyche; 8) War and Peace; Appendices of Resources; Appendix A; Appendix B; Appendix C; Appendix D; References; Bibliography; Index.