Book Review: This Book will Change Your Mind about Mental Health
Have you read Nathan Filer's book 'This Book will Change Your Mind about Mental Health'? I can't recommend it enough, especially if you have ever met anyone, known anyone, or experienced what he describes as 'so-called schizophrenia'. Filer makes reading about such an emotive and fraught topic so manageable, and does so with kindness, openness and a high degree of personal reflection. He engages in his own history as a mental health nurse and thoughtfully reconsiders some of his behaviour toward people/service users/patients when in that role.
When I was doing my training the Hearing Voices Network presented at a conference I attended. I was left with a sense of the power of just being able to talk about hearing voices. There's something so silencing about how society treats the experience of psychosis and how we respond with fear and, as N Filer describes, a pretty consistent tendency to 'turn our backs'. At the end of the book, he encourages the reader to continue the conversation and I hope that this blog piece does this somewhat.
I wrote about the impact this book had on me on my instagram too. It made me stop and think about my own fears and biases about my own mental health and 'madness'. I emphasize self awareness with my clients all the time, and the same holds true for me. If therapists aren't prepared to examine their own biases there is a good chance that we will bring them into the therapeutic space and into the therapeutic relationship. I hope that I will always be the sort of therapist who challenges myself, and sees the years I have in this profession as ones of continuing testing, learning and development. This book helped me to do that and I was glad to find it quite challenging, as well as deeply moving and often, funny.
I'd love to know what you thought of it.