The premise behind this thoughtful and informative psychotherapy guidebook is to study the bigger picture behind patients’ wide-ranging emotional problems in order to expand therapies that help them better function in life.
Charles E. Williams, a social psychologist and psychotherapist, writes that mental illness “is not the weird, bizarre craziness” depicted in literature or the movies (Psycho, Three Faces of Eve), but an illness that can be “monitored, contained, and controlled within the everyday functioning of people’s lives.” It should be managed not only through talk therapy and medication, he says, but with a broader approach that accounts for external and environmental problems that may contribute to the disease.
Guided by the thinking of famed theorists Jean Piaget, Sigmund Freud, Erik Erikson and others, combined with experiential knowledge gained “in the trenches,” Williams’ book details the variables behind a variety of mental illnesses. He then offers methods to contain and treat these manageable diseases. For instance, using client case examples, the author shows how patients with disrupted lives can be helped greatly by providing concrete assistance with community resources (housing, public aid, Access-a-Ride) and, regarding childhood disorders, can be reached creatively through computer games (PinBall, PaintBrush, Solitaire).
Within the framework of the American Psychiatric Association’s mental health disorders guide, commonly known as DSW-IV, Williams’ detailed book (with bibliography and index) offers solid ideas in a succinct, explanatory, yet personal format to guide professionals and better lift the stigma of mental illness. He shows sensitivity to the mentally ill’s plight while offering concrete methods toward helping them become whole, not only of body and mind, but in a way that offers them a “profound sense of self-worth, dignity and internal unity.”
In short, this wise educational work offers valuable ideas that combine compassion with sage advice.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.