“Writing has helped me heal. Writing has changed my life. Writing has saved my life.” These powerful first sentences of Louise DeSalvo’s Writing as a Way of Healing: How Telling Stories Transforms Our Lives immediately conveys the author’s strong belief in the curative power of writing. She posits that writing helps people recover from “thorny experiences” and can help heal those suffering from a variety of situations, from dislocation and violence to rape and racism (4). DeSalvo is a professor of English and Creative Writing at Hunter College and is the author of over a half dozen books, so her advice is rooted in her own personal experience using writing as an instrument of healing.
Linda Graham’s 2018 book, Resilience: Powerful Practices for Bouncing Back from Disappointment, Difficulty, and Even Disaster, is a continuation of the practices she first wrote about in her book, Bouncing Back: Rewiring Your Brain for Maximum Resilience and Well-Being. Throughout each chapter, Graham details exercises aimed to build and strengthen resilience by way of regular practice. Graham divides the book into eight chapters that are designed to guide the reader through a journey of understanding and strengthening resilience.
Turow begins her book by introducing mindfulness. Turow thoroughly goes over each aspect of mindfulness, explaining everything from its core concepts to the proper time and setting for practices. Included is ‘Resolving misconceptions and overcoming stumbling blocks’ to encourage further practice and ability, but perhaps the most significant portions of this chapter are the parts of “Special Considerations for Practicing Mindfulness After Trauma” and “Choosing a Specific Practice.” The parts begin a trend that moves throughout the book, encouraging careful and safe practice for survivors especially and consideration that not all practices work for everyone; indeed, she has her reader explore specially for themselves, rather than a prescribed program.
Doctors generally begin their journey as eager medical students determined to change the world one patient at a time. With intelligence, compassion, and a desire to help others, medical students muster up enough drive to fight through medical school and residency, accepting the hours of work, sleepless nights, and giant holes left in their bank account in pursuit of what they believe to be a worthwhile, fulfilling profession both morally and economically. However, in Doctored: The Disillusionment of an American Physician, Sandeep Jauhar suggests that it’s difficult to maintain this view within the current medical climate because it’s dominated by the government and large corporations set out to generate income, even if it’s at patients’ expense. In this powerful and thought-provoking memoir, Jauhar utilizes case studies and anecdotes as he reveals his journey as a doctor facing what he refers to as “the midlife crisis in American medicine” and his attempts to understand why “medicine today is as fraught as it’s ever been” (15).
Did you know that thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency can lead to weakness, irritability and depression? That folate (vitamin B9) deficiency can result in depression, apathy, fatigue, poor sleep, and poor concentration? That people with chronic digestion problems are often anxious and depressed? And believe it or not, that pure maple syrup has the potential to prevent Alzheimer’s and other brain disease? Nutritional neuroscience is validating the reality that nutritional factors are intertwined with human cognition, behavior and emotions (Sathyanarayana, Asha, Ramesh, & Rao, 2008). In our current milieu of treating the ‘whole’ person— soma, psyche, and spirit—food has finally claimed its well deserved acclaim for its role in the development, management and prevention of our overall health and for specific mental health problems such as depression, schizophrenia, ADHD, and Alzheimer’s disease (Sathyanarayana et al., 2008).
Marcel Duclos wrote his latest book in honor of his dear friend and colleague Connie Robillard. It is a collection of thirty poems, one written every day as she navigated her way through the last month with ocular melanoma as a companion.
I started to write, “I’m the worst person to review a book on social media! I don’t use it.” Then, nearing the end of Dr Primack’s book, I realized, I use it more than I think. I don’t Twitter, nor Instagram. I don’t TicToK or Messenger. I post articles on LinkedIn and use Facebook for the magazine. But a sense of who? me? reached out and grabbed me when Dr Primack discussed Facebook and canned birthday wishes: how people, like me, are reminded of “friends” birthdays so we can offer a greeting, an emoji. What truly tripped me was his discussion on our own take away.
“Can we bring the body closer to therapy and therapy closer to the body?”
We are living amidst an unprecedented global crisis with men, women, and children fleeing war, violence, persecution, torture, poverty, discrimination and exclusion only to face more of the same when they arrive betwixt and between—there are few safe places to call home. They leave cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment and punishment only to be exposed and often victimized further while traveling toward longed for international protection and services. These people need our help. They deserve our attention. They’ve witnessed and survived atrocities so heart wrenching I can’t bear to write about them in detail. Thankfully clinicians are responding. People like Aida Alayarian, MD are providing services to this vastly under-served client population.
In his recently published book, Addiction, Attachment, Trauma and Recovery: The Power of Connection, Morgan offers a new framework for clinicians working with clients like myself that combines interpersonal neurobiology and social ecology and focuses on addiction and recovery from an attachment-sensitive counseling approach. The soul of addiction, Morgan says, is a lack of connection and belonging. “Recovery,” he writes, ”is a restoration to connection, to meaningful and life-giving relationships” (pg. xxix). The traditional models of addiction—it’s a disease, a choice, a learned behavior—are being replaced by models focused on relational ecologies.