WHAT A LIFE CAN BE: ONE THERAPIST'S TAKE ON SCHIZO-AFFECTIVE DISORDER
BASED ON A TRUE STORY BY CAROLYN DOBBINS PhD
"powerful and revealing, and
provides a unique insight into chronic mental disease" Dr. Thomas G Burish, a professor of psychology and Provost of Notre Dame
"It will challenge your thinking about mental
illness, about hope, about faith, about who you are." George E Doebler M Div. Special Advisor, Dept. of Pastoral Care, U
of Tennessee Medical Center:, Executive Director, emeritus: Association
of Mental Health Clergy (now Association of Professional Chaplains)
A fascinating look into the world of schizoaffective disorder which, at times, is funny, heartbreaking, but above all uplifting. Dr. Carolyn Dobbins describes the onset and progression of this debilitating disease and gives all readers hope.
As a therapist, Dr. Dobbins leads the reader
throughout the life of a real client who has battled and
triumphed. Dr. Dobbins reflects on the life of her client in interactions during
counseling sessions. She meets, head-on, the utter seriousness of the undeserving stigma this client, who refused to be a victim, has faced. The book breaks through the stigma and gives all readers much
to think about as mental illness affects us all.
Dr. E Fuller Torrey describes the book as "an
inspiration for all who have ever experienced psychosis" and highly recommends it.
Dr. Torrey is the author of Surviving Schizophrenia and is the executive director of the Stanley Medical Research Center in Chevy Chase, MD.
What a Life Can Be: is a study of the life of a woman with a major
psychiatric disease; technically labeled Schizo-Affective Disorder. It
is much more, it is a book about each of us, with whatever label we
might have. What a Life can Be shares a personal story of a woman with
mental illness. Carolyn Dobbins reveals herself in a way that teaches
the reader that "mental illness" is a "disease" we all have
"contracted", to e degree or another. The dialogue between the
therapist and the patient is philosophical, witty, sad, frightening,
caring ----and lovingly done. A dialogue each of us has --with
ourselves. WHAT A LIFE CAN BE is a story about our difficulty with
those we label as mentally ill. It is about how health care does not
know what to do those who are mentally ill....it is easier to simply say
they are crazy, give them a pill (which can be very helpful if wisely
prescribed) and send them to the
street. Carolyn Dobbins experienced all of this ---all the while
completing college, graduate school (receiving a PhD in Psychology) and
becoming a therapist to deeply troubled people. WHAT A LIFE CAN BE
is a book for those who are not faint hearted, who what to be challenged
while they are entertained. It will challenge your thinking about
mental illness, about hope, about faith, about who you are.
Doebler M Div. Special Advisor, Dept. of Pastoral Care, Un. of
Tennessee Medical Center:, Executive Director, emeritus: Association of
Mental Health Clergy (now Association of Professional Chaplains)
Bookpleasures.com Review "I highly recommend this
book to anyone who either suffers from or has a family member who
suffers from this or other kinds of mental disorder, to lawyers who
work with clients with this kind of disorder and, yes, to
psychologists who can expand their own consciousness by experiencing
this situation from the other side. If you give this book the
attention it deserves you will find it emotionally exhausting but
well worth the effort for the reward of significant and perhaps life
Plus Bookpleasures joint review of this book and When Quietness Came
Psych Central Review - educational, enjoyable and worth your time
NAMI Advance Review " told in an unorthodox but very effective manner. The “patient self”
tells her life story to her “therapist self,” which emphasizes what is
expected in relationships, work, and life in general of mental health
professionals and consumers."
Library Journal, November 15, 2011, print edition said "people
who have been diagnosed with schizoaffective
disorders and those close to them will welcome it as
an advocacy tool".
Dr Kenneth O Jobson, a psychiatrist in Knoxville, said "This
book gives a model of resilience and success in dealing with a
troubling and potentially lifelong disabling psychiatric illness - a
model that conveys a strategy of action and attitude. It can serve
patients and their families toward tackling demanding expectations
and experiences with severe psychiatric illness. It informs and gives
Dr. Dobbins lives and works in Knoxville, TN. She received
her BS from University of Utah and her PhD from Vanderbilt University
in 1990. While at Vanderbilt, Carolyn received an NIMH scholarship
and two two-year Clinical Fellowships along with four research
assistantships and a research associateship. She has served in the mental health field for 22 years and, in
her teens, Carolyn was a top, nationally ranked Alpine skier.
978-0-9866522-2-6, 226 pages, $19.95 and available at Amazon US, Barnes and Noble, Amazon Canada, Chapters/Indigo, and on Kindle. Available to any bookseller via Ingram.
Invite Carolyn Dobbins to your book club group at Readers Circle