- Oct 15, 2008
This book is divided into two parts; the first focuses on four case studies of psychosis with depth, clarity and painstaking sensitivity. Anyone who has gone through such an experience is bound to recognize aspects of their own experience in the personal stories he has shared. What makes this book truly remarkable however is the second half of the book. Podvoll applies the same discriminating detail to this half of the book as the first as he details the creation of environments in which recovery can be fostered and "insights of clarity" -- always present -- can be encouraged, while discouraging the "asylum mentality" that inhibits recovery efforts.
Recovering Sanity: A Compassionate Approach to Understanding and Treating Psychosis
Edward M. Podvall, M.D.
Recovering Sanity is a compassionately written examination of the experience of psychosis and related mental illnesses. By presenting four in-depth profiles of illness and recovery, Dr. Edward Podvoll reveals the brilliance and chaos of the psychotic mind and demonstrates its potential for recovery outside of traditional institutional settings.
Dr. Podvoll counters the conventional thinking that the millions of Americans suffering from psychosis can never fully recover. He offers a bold new approach to treatment that involves home care with a specially trained team of practitioners. Using "basic attendance", a treatment technique inspired by the author's study of Buddhist psychology, healthcare professionals can use the tools of compassion and awareness to help patients recover their underlying sanity. Originally published as The Seduction of Madness, this reissue includes new introductory material and two new appendices.
Edward Podvoll's The Seduction of Madness is far and away the best written, most cogent, compelling history of our attempts to come to terms with the fascinating terrifying monster of madness. What kills most books about insanity is the almost irresistible urge to romance the disease and project our social, aesthetic, religious values onto such a big inviting canvas. Edward Podvoll's book is admirably free of such romance. We are all still a million miles away from knowing enough to say who will and who won't get better and what we can do to improve our odds but we will look long and hard without finding a better statement of the problem.
- Mark Vonnegut, author of The Eden Express: A Memoir of Insanity
The Seduction of Madness is a radical reconsideration of the psychotic mind and its never-lost potential for "islands of clarity" and self-recovery -- one which provides us with desperately needed, humane alternatives for understanding the psychotic patient. This is first a book for patients, families, friends, and physicians but it is equally an eloquent, and phenomenologically fascinating, meditation on the structure of mind.
- Oliver Sachs, M.D., author of Awakenings
Source: Recovering Sanity: A Compassionate Approach to Understanding and Treating Psychosis
I recommend it highly for those who are reaching for recovery for themselves or a loved one.