Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Replanting Lives Uprooted by Mental Illness: A Practical Guide for Families by Nancy Pizzo Boucher

Replanting Lives Uprooted by Mental Illness: A Practical Guide for Families by Nancy Pizzo Boucher
ISBN: 978-0615618081
Published April 8, 2012
Paperback 8 1/2 X 11, 140 pages

Nancy Pizzo Boucher is a mother and a teacher with a son who suffers from a mental illness. Her first book, Getting My Night Vision, a collection of essays, poems, stories and notes, reflected the author's painful and insightful journey in helping her son fight mental illness. (Read my review of Getting My Night Vision) This second book, Replanting Lives Uprooted by Mental Illness is a practical guide for families.

It is written in a workbook format with large font that is easy to read and use. It focuses on what families can do and the power of their love to help a family member who has a mental illness. Boucher writes from experience and shares her own techniques learned through the years. She shows keen insight into what families will struggle with and lays out simple tools of dealing with them. The book is as much for the family as it is for the person with the mental illness.

The book is divided into four sections. The first one is meant to empower families, which I think is very important. The second section is where Boucher shares the tools she and her family have learned to use. The third section is about advocacy and using our voice to remove the stigma about mental illness. I liked the exercise she included that had me reading several situations and analyzing how I would respond. And the last section is about the insightful things her son has taught her about mental illness.

Throughout this book, Boucher includes questions and interactive self-help tools, also included in one convenient place in an appendix at the end of the book, which may be copied and used in workshops run by families or mental health providers. I appreciated this the most, along with poems, drawings from her sons, and other personal tidbits that reminded me that all of us (not only those with family members who suffer from mental illness) can gain insight and be reminded of the humanity behind all illnesses that we sometimes forget. A person is foremost a son, daughter, mother, father, sister, brother, friend before being a person with a mental illness.

This is an important book because it is written not by a professional but by a family member who knows first-hand about mental illness. Boucher's teaching skills and compassionate but strong advocacy voice are perfect for families who need a listening ear. My only suggestion for the book would be to have it professionally edited. This workbook is recommended for all but especially families struggling with mental illness. This book is hopeful, encouraging and empowering.

Note: This book is rated C = clean read.
I will count this book toward the following challenges: I Love Italy Reading Challenge (The author is of Italian origin.)

Reviewed by Laura 

Disclosure: Thanks to the author for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

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