Author(s): Victor Ashear
A self-help workbook to assist mental health services consumers address the stigma of mental illness and the losses related to identity, sense of self, and self-esteem, which are among the most significant challenges for people with mental illness. The book is designed to be used with groups as well as individuals. With the rise of the recovery movement over the past thirty years, more hope exists now than ever before for people diagnosed with serious mental illness to live full, meaningful lives. Improvements in the effectiveness of psychotropic medication contribute to this improved outlook. Recently, cognitive enhancement therapies have been effective in improving the ability to focus, organise and problem-solve. Included didactic information guides users through questions and exercises that prompt increased awareness and acceptance of the self and the effects of mental illness. By actively responding to the questions, users will be able to better organise their thinking and engage in behaviour that will improve the quality of their life.
Victor Ashear has worked with patients diagnosed with serious mental illnesses for over forty years. Based on prevailing research and his own experience, he developed his approach around the central tenant that improvement in the sense of self and acceptance of mental illness diagnosis without stigmatising oneself are essential for recovery.