Reviews on Psychology Books and Tapes by Gift From Within Members to Help Trauma Survivors with PTSD – Page 3

Self Help:

“You Can Heal Your Life. ” by Louise Hay. Hay House; Pap/DVD Co edition (October 1, 2009) $13.57.

I have read hundreds of self-help books about co-dependence, self-esteem, anger management, spiritual development, the secret behind the secret, the universal laws and how to apply them. The list is endless. Some books I keep and read again, others I pass on taking what I can use from them. Most authors write in technical terms, instructional ways, and authoritative. Few women authors write in a feminine style and in a conversational tone. Louise Hay has managed both techniques in her books.

Through out this book you read her conversation with you. The language is calming, friendly, understanding, and loving. I have enjoyed reading this book. It was published years ago and Louise Hay is now somewhere in her 80’s but she has not stopped sharing, growing, and inspiring. She is the creator and owner of Hay House Radio and the “I Can Do It” conferences. If you are seeking a gentler way to self, this is the book to read. A must read again and again. There is nothing impossible or fearful about the topics she discusses, she shares her life difficulties and insights that have brought her to a healthier and fulfilling life.

Patti Pott:

“The Highly Sensitive Person’s Survival Guide. ” by Ted Zeff. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications. 2004. $11.53.

I have a feeling this title will attract your attention pretty quickly. If you are like me, and you sometimes despair about your sensitivity, you may also think that you cannot change yourself. While sensitivity is a trait that many admire and wish they had more of, it can be a curse when allowed to push us into being overly committed, often riddled with guilt, over stimulated and nervous because of being, as the authors abbreviate, an OSP.

The author begins by presenting a self-test that helps the reader determine the degree of sensitivity and if it needs to be addressed. Of course, if you are already struggling with feeling overly sensitive you probably already know it. I zipped through the test scoring very high on the scale as I knew I would. However, even if you are not at the top of the scale you will find this book helpful. We all tend to over extend ourselves in our jobs or relationships. This helpful little book can assist us in taking better care of ourselves.

The author explains how being overly sensitive involves much more than we realize. Our brain waves are involved because we are affected deeply by outward stimuli. Our relationships are affected and we tend to expect a lot of ourselves and to feel that others expect us to be perfect.

The majority of the book deals in a very caring and “sensitive” way with how we can cope with being an OSP. There are many helpful suggestions and recommendations in various types of situations. The author deals in depth with how to take care of ourselves physically, how to help adjust our thinking and calm ourselves, how to sleep better, the benefits of some herbs, meditation and physical benefits, such as acupuncture and visiting a chiropractor. He deals with things we can do to make our environment more relaxing, such as aromatherapy.

I have noticed that some of my friends, acquaintances and relatives who have been traumatized seem sensitized to their environments more so than before. The author’s suggestions can be helpful in dealing with the stressors that may be more intrusive than before. I think this is a beneficial little book for those of us struggling with the symptoms of PTSD.

Highly Sensitive Person’s Survival Guide


“Coping With Anxiety: 10 Simple Ways To Relieve Anxiety, Fear & Worry,” by Edmund Bourne and Lorna Garano. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc. 2003. (Amazon rating 4.5 stars). $10.17.

What is anxiety? What causes it? Are there different types? Can we have a genetic disposition for it? What can we do about it? All of these questions are dealt with in this work. Whether your anxiety is new or you’ve struggled with it most of your life, the author will answer your questions.

We have all been told about the importance of diet, exercise and ridding ourselves of stressors. The authors go a step further by telling us how to climb these positive steps and make ourselves more anxiety-free.

I was amazed, while reading, that so much was packed into a book of less than 160 pages. The pages are pregnant with facts, ideas, exercises and examples for each step listed.

In simple yet profound words the authors tell us how we can relax our bodies and our minds, and the importance of proper thinking and looking at our fears rationally. They don’t just tell us to exercise but they give examples and list what our limits and expectations should be depending on our age as well as possible risks associated with some forms of exercise. They make something we avoid seem realistic and even fun looking. I love the chapter that deals with the effect of certain foods and beverages on our anxiety level. And the chapter that encourages more self-time is one we all can relate to.

Even for those who do not suffer anxiety on a daily basis, this book can be beneficial because everyone deals with anxiety in life to some degree. That’s why I have to recommend this book to everyone and not just a specific audience.

This a great little book and you will find it beneficial, so don’t feel anxious about checking it out.

For a free bookmark send an SASE to Gift From Within, 16 Cobb Hill Road, Camden ME 04843.

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“Sliding: A Journey through Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder After a Fatal Car Crash,” by Connie Jo Bachman. Bloomington, IN: iUniverse, 2007. (Amazon rating 5 stars). $16.95.

Sliding chronicles the struggles of Connie after she was involved in a car crash, at the age of sixteen, in which another person died. Like many of us Connie did not understand her symptoms until many years later. Sadly, her suffering could have been lessened and her isolation relieved if others had been able to recognize she needed help. She had many friends and a loving family but, because PTSD in a disorder of the mind, her scars remained hidden long after her bodily scars healed.

Sliding is a safe book to read because the author does not detail graphic descriptions of the crash or injuries. She never saw the lady who died in the other car. What she does portray very well is how she felt about what happened and how her symptoms affected every area of her life. She has a unique understanding of PTSD and a definite gift for verbalizing feelings and the whole process she went through. Her book is interesting and, in fact, kept me spell-bound. I almost read it at one sitting.

This book would be an asset to all who suffer from PTSD regardless of the cause. Although my trauma was different I found myself feeling as if I was reading my own life story. Connie shares many resources that she made use of in her search for understanding and healing. I plan on implementing many of those resources.

Because the author is a talented writer and has piled so much valuable information into a concise and readable format, I would love to see this book in the hands of so many people who need it. Not only would I like to see all our members have access to it, it would also be very beneficial to therapists, school counselors, and those who seek to understand loved ones who suffer from PTSD. If you are looking for a resource to give to your friends and family who seek to better support you, this is it.

I took pages of notes while reading Connie’s book, and underlined so many of her comments that I really don’t feel I can do justice to this book in one review. I would like to thank her for writing this book and to add here that I found it very hopeful to me. Connie’s struggle for answers covered so many years and her suffering was so great that I feel her words deserve a large audience of readers. I am happy to have a small part in its dissemination.


“Lighter & Free from the Inside Out,” by Bob Wilson. $28.50.

When I finished this book I wondered how I could do it justice in one small book review. Wilson’s book quite honestly deals with how we may improve all aspects of our lives from the inside out. As the colorful and happy-looking cover states, it is a playbook for life. One receives the impression, from the cover, of a positive and fun book, and that is what it is. Some of the self-help skills include diet, attitude, creating balance, self-management, relationships with yourself and others, introspection, getting support and how to have fun!

Wilson’s book is full of cute pictures, interactive charts, helpful tips and other websites we can visit for help. Get this…it even includes recipes and meal planning charts! This is truly a manual for taking care of our bodies, our spirits and our emotions. It is written compassionately and the love of the author for mankind shines through. I love the little quotes and anecdotes included throughout. This book really made me smile.

If you know someone who is struggling with self-image, weight problems and lacking overall motivation, I would say pick up an additional copy for a gift. If you are tired of self-help books, I would encourage you to try again, because this one gives practical ideas for improving our lives. It is fun to read and very uplifting, while dealing with serious issues with which we all struggle.

The author’s website is

“Allen Carr’s Easy Way for Women to Stop Smoking,” by Allen Carr. $10.67.

A friend of mine told me to read this book because it helped another friend to finally quit smoking. Alright I said to myself. What do I have to lose. I tried every which way to stop, just like a dieter trying every diet plan on the planet. I’ve quit on and off for years but each time I quit I always felt deprived and miserable. When I quit I always felt that I no longer had my crutch…my friend…my anti anxiety fix. So one Sunday morning I lit a cigarette and sat down on the sofa and looked at the Mr. Carr’s book.

I was impressed when I read on the book jacket that the author Allen Carr smoked for 33 years, figured out how to quit, and gained recognition as a leading authority on how to stop smoking. Within the first few pages, I laughed out loud when he said “you are probably smoking while reading this.” Holy Smokes, how did he know that? Then I wasn’t so embarrassed and was hooked on reading the rest of the book. Here was a ex smoker who understood what I felt. Allen Carr said this was an easy way to quit because his method didn’t require will power. It requires an open mind and a few other steps but you didn’t need to quit until the end of the book and then you would want to.

Well it did help me to stop. Actually I stopped half way through. I had no withdrawal symptoms which I’d previously always experienced. (even my friends said…did you go back? You haven’t said anything). I really didn’t have a need to talk about not smoking. It came naturally. The book convinced me not to smoke but not in the conventional way most books and smoking cessation classes (yea I tried that too) do. This book resonated with me as a smoker. Allen Carr explains the big monster and the little monster in smoking. The big monster is the brain washing that once you start smoking, keeps you smoking. Society plays a role in this. The little monster is the nicotine addiction and the constant feeding of the little monster which your brain tells you, begs you, pleads with you, to keep doing.

Most shocking is that when I put out my last butt, I didn’t feel deprived or that I was missing something. I don’t believe you can twist anyone’s arm. When you read this book you need to keep an open mind. That is a key element and following Allen Carr’s instructions. The most unusual aspect of this book is that Allen Carr talks about being happy. That life is joyful, worth living and that you don’t need the cigarettes to be happy. He proves to you why they don’t make you less anxious, and in fact does the opposite as well as rob you of your health and pocketbook. For people who have never been addicted to smoking I can tell you that it’s one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. I’ve heard that addiction to smoking is harder to quit than heroin. I’ve heard addicts say this too. I know that I thought it was my best friend. I don’t feel that way anymore. I am a non smoker, and feel really good about it. I hope others will read this book or give it to friends who smoke. The website is

Dianne Young :

Engel, Beverly. “Loving Him Without Losing You. How to Stop Disappearing and Start Being Yourself.” (2000) John Wiley & Sons, New York. Paperback: $10.91. (Amazon Rating: 5 stars)

Even though I am not currently in a relationship, I found this book an interesting and stimulating read as I recognised previous ways of relating to others not restricted to the male of the species.

One of the strengths of the book is the way that it incorporates social, cultural and biological factors into its analysis of the problem of women who tend to lose themselves in relationships with men. It clearly describes the causes and symptoms of the problem and then describes seven practical commitments that lead to a strengthening of the self while developing and maintaining a healthy relationship.

The aim of the commitments is the development of a sense of self that has substance. Engels notes that even women with a strong sense of self and adherence to the gains of feminism, still tend to lose themselves to some extent in their personal relationships with men.

The strategies she suggests are not exclusively useful to this problem. Since they are concerned with empowerment, they are valid to women with complex PTSD. Significant abandonment issues and a tendency to merge with others are difficulties often faced by survivors of early childhood abuse and neglect. These issues predispose a person to disappear in significant relationships. It is for this reason that I recommend the book.

It encourages the development of authenticity which is of course a hallmark of a healthy sense of self. Engels stresses the role of creativity in healing and the development of an individual self. She writes that creativity can “teach us things about ourselves we never knew, plummeting us to depths within ourselves we would never venture to in any other way. It can help us find strength, resolve, commitment, wisdom, and passion we never knew we possessed” (p. 230).

I recommend this book because of its balance, insight, wisdom and capacity to instill hope.


I also have a couple of books to recommend to all the support pals. The latest I have read
(and hardly been able to put down) is called In Session: The Bond Between Women and Their Therapists by Deborah A. Lott. It really helped me understand why the therapeutic relationship is so difficult a one for both client and therapist and unlike any other bond humans form. I highly recommend it to all. Another I really have liked is I Can’t Get Over It: A Handbook for Trauma Survivors (2nd ed.) by Aphrodite Matsakis, Ph.D.


Robbins, Tony. “Get the Edge.”

This is a 7 day course that will change your life. Tony has organized fourteen days of listening – that actually take much longer due to the homework assignments. He has included his Personal Power Classic Success Journal and “The Key to Personal Power”. Each cassette brings you closer to knowing how you think, what triggers your reactions, etc. He gives you instructions as to how to harness what you have and change it to your advantage.

The second set of tapes, “Get The Edge” moves you quickly from the understanding of where you are and why you are there to moving forward into the world you would like to be in. One great advantage of this series of tapes is what I call his “Power Walk” tape. He instructs you on how to breath while walking, then mentally put yourself into a state of appreciation, then move into what you would like in your world, then moving into the world you want and giving thanks for getting there. By the time you finish listening to the tape, whether you are actually walking or (typing like me) you are energized. This tape is to be used daily and I have been using it for over a month now and I find myself empowered. Those times when I would have become tired or depressed, I find inner strength and happiness. I find his work remarkable.

Ancient Secret of the Fountain of Youth by Peter Kelder / $10.75.

This is a quick read about an old bent over man who went searching for the fountain of youth — and found it in a Tibetan monastery. He came back looking and acting so young that the author didn’t recognize him. Proof that we can grow young, that growing old is purely a state of mind. He then taught the author the Tibetan secret. Peter Kelder is kind enough to share this teaching with his readers. It consists of five main exercises which get all your vortexes spinning at the same rate of speed, thereby generating energy and youth. I call the exercises “the Tibetan 5”. They are to be performed daily to whatever degree you can perform them. Like the Tony Robbins exercise, they bring a positive force with them leaving you feeling happy and energized!

“Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui” by Karen Kingston $8.75 from

This is an instructional book in how to gain energy by throwing out the negatives and clutter in the home. I like to tell this story about the Kingston Feng Shui books. At the time I was introduced to them I was living in a very small, dingy and noisy studio. This particular day, my back had began hurting again and I became fearful that it would go out, rendering me on disability.

This day found me sitting at a small table talking to a stranger at Starbucks. The stranger was a woman who was working Feng Shui throughout her apartment. She told me about the book that was being sold by Starbucks. The conversation lasted for hours. She told me that by working Feng Shui in your home, your life would be changed for the better. I went home and began to clear out the clutter — the bathroom first because it was the smallest and remember, my back hurt. Once that bathroom was cleared of clutter, and a red poster hung up, cleaned, I had more energy. With that energy I went into the dressing room and cleared that clutter, I gained more energy. I worked the 14 foot square living rm/bedroom portion of the studio and again gained more energy. I had to request my neighbors to help move things in the kitchen but again, same thing happened. More energy came to me.

My back, although the pain lessened, didn’t go away. It was at this point that I bought Kingston’s first book “Clearing Sacred Space with Feng Shui”. Kingston informed her readers that there should be nothing under your bed. I cleared everything out from under the bed. She then informed the reader that there should be no corners sending energy through you while you slept. (Every sharp corner on furniture will send energy from its point outward and anything in its path will be affected.) I found the corner that was directing its energy precisely where my back was hurting! (I found the culprit!) I removed it and the pain disappeared. But I had the problem where I wouldn’t sleep on the whole bed, I would cuddle the edge. In her book she described that as being some energy outside of the living quarters. Upon investigation, I found a railing that made a sharp corner and sending energy which split the bed in half. To correct the problem, Kingston suggested that a mirror. I hung the mirror at the foot of the bed and suddenly I could use the whole bed. I couldn’t believe it, it only took maybe three weeks and no back pain, no depression and in its place was such positive explosive energy that I was back working again.

Highly recommended book. I use her method also at the office and have had numerous people come by just to feel the uplifting energy. The other day one of my co-workers even thanked me for making my area so positive.

“The Greatest Miracle In the World,” by Og Mandino, author of The Greatest Salesman In The World / $7.99 from

This is a story of the Ragpicker. The Ragpicker is an old man who helps people learn who they are and what they are to do in life. It is told in the first person and Og tells about his encounters with the old man. Beautifully done. Then at page 89, we find the God Memorandum. Here is the miracle. You read this chapter for 100 days and by the time you end, you are thinking and doing things differently than what you felt you were trained to do, i.e. the abusiveness of youth gives way to a much needed peace and tranquility. It destroys the elements that harm you and you begin to regain something you felt you’d lost. Or at least that I felt I’d lost. It is all about “[T]he four laws of happiness and success: Count your blessings, proclaim your rarity, go another mile [and] [u]se wisely your power of choice. And one more, to fulfill the other four. Do all things with love…love for yourself, love for all others, and love for me.”

It is a pretty easy and compelling read. Story is delightful and the power instilled (once you read the God Memorandum) is absolutely empowering.

“The Diamond Cutter,” by Geshe Michael Roach / $10.36 from

This is about “[t]he Buddha on strategies for managing your business and your life.” The story of a diamond cutter and how he was trained in the art of cutting diamonds and at the same time how to deal with life and people. Not an easy read but most definitely a good resource book on how to handle a variety of situations.

“You Must Be Dreaming,” by Barbara Noel with Kathryn Watterson / $[unknown]

This book is about a woman, Barbara Noel, who went to a psychiatrist for assistance with stage fright only to learn that he was doing strange things to her while she was under a drug. It is her story of how she finally put him into the courts and how the medical profession handled the whole situation. To me it let me know that I’m not alone with the non-support of the professionals. That money from the culprits is more important than the saving of an innocent. It is well organized and well written.



“Molecules of Emotion: The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine,” by Candace B. Pert, Ph.D. Forward by Deepak Chopra, M.D. (Amazon rating 4 stars). $10.88.

This tome was recommended to me by an amazing counselor at a place called Mountain Meadow, in The Valley of the Moon, Sonoma, California. She also suggested Biology of Belief, but that is another review coming soon.

Dr. Pert is an accomplished and internationally recognized pharmacologist. She has published over 250 scientific articles on peptides and their receptors and the role of these neuropeptides in the immune system. She received her doctorate from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, served as Chief of the Section on Brain Biochemistry at the National Institute of Mental Health. She has lectured worldwide on these and other subjects, including her theories on emotions and ‘mindbody’ communication. Dr. Pert appeared in the feature film What the Bleep Do We Know!!? And Bill Moyers TV program Healing and the Mind. Dr. Pert is best known for her opiate receptor, endorphin and peptide research showing that our brain, glands, and immune system are in constant communication through the “molecules of emotion.”

She begins with the chapter heading of ‘receptor revolution.’ Apparently, the doctors et al at that time, took a long while to agree that such things even existed. She speaks clearly of the relationship between our very cells, hormones, peptides, and receptors. She believes that our mind, or memories if you will, are actually a combination of all of these as our experiences are accrued in life. She speaks plainly, in words easy to understand and pronounce! The first 200 pages or so are really about her medical life, what she worked on, and how she came to ‘know’ our mindbody is one and the same.

Very interesting for me was her work on opiate receptors. When every scientist involved (including her) was looking for the opiate receptor in a certain direction, one day she just tried her experiments the opposite way and voila, there they were, opiate receptors. This was the first ‘receptor’ discovered and while she had worked on it night and day, tirelessly, she did not receive the appropriate recognition for the discovery. No, instead it went to her boss, the male head of the department. However, she more than made up for it by being brilliant and accessible with her knowledge, not to mention her continued discovery and work around neuropeptides. Her basic question is, “Do emotions originate in the mind or the body?” Then she sets out to prove her hypothesis with all the eloquence of the human body.

A great deal of the book centers on her clinical background but she writes in story fashion and it holds the readers attention. She even talks about her mistakes and how she corrected them. Then she goes on to discuss in detail just what the relationship between ‘mindbody’ is and how we can change our belief systems and thus our daily lives by knowing how to care for and recognize our bodies. For Dr. Pert, emotions are flowing through, around, and between us, from person to person. And she backs it all up with science!

While not a ‘page turner’, it is still a good read and inspiring to know that there is so much more about us we have yet to experience.
Molecules of Emotion

“Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection,” by John T. Cacioppo and William Patrick. (Amazon rating 5 stars). $17.13.

Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection by John T. Cacioppo and William Patrick is not a self-help book in that it is not specifically written for the layperson but in some ways I think it is a self-help book. It is interesting to note that both authors lost their mothers while writing this book and the book is dedicated to their moms. The reading is sometimes a bit difficult but I think it is worth the time and effort as the authors define loneliness and chronic loneliness and their consequences in human terms. Society teaches us to be competitive and individualistic. The authors see this as a false doctrine. Anyone with an interest in evolutionary psychology and neuroscience will find their exhaustive research fascinating. Dr. Cacioppo is a professor at The University of Chicago and the Director of the University of Chicago Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience.

I love this quote from his book, “If you want to go fast,” says an African proverb, “go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” We all know that humans need to feel connected and being lonely effects our well-being. While the book has it sad moments (particularly some of the emails that are quoted) the authors also use humor and give suggestions on how to become less lonely. The book describes four suggestions and I’m only giving you the titles:
E is for Extend Yourself, A is for Action Plan, S is for Selection, E is for Expect the Best. What these mean can be found by reading the book and also looking at the author’s blog, EASEing Your Way Out of Chronic Loneliness

There are plenty of self-help books out there but this book explains how humans became hard-wired for social contact and support in order to survive. We mustn’t be embarrassed that we are sometimes lonely. We are all lonely from time to time. But when we develop chronic loneliness it can impair judgment just like PTSD symptoms can impair our perceptions of ourselves and our ability to move beyond being a survivor to a being thriver. People with PTSD know about depression, anxiety, anger, rejection because we have experienced true inhumane treatment. But I find we rarely talk about loneliness, and I think this book could be useful for trauma survivors facing and dealing with loneliness. There is also information about a hormone called Oxytocin (Oxytocin plays a key role in maternal bonding and social affiliation), and there is an interesting article at Monitor on Psychology – The two faces of oxytocin.

Isolation can interfere with our perceptions, and responses to our environment psychologically and physically and this wise and entertaining book will help you not only contemplate or reexamine your life, your goals, your relationships but will also increase your affection, concern and desire to reach out and touch our fellow human beings.

“Nature’s Mind: The Biological Roots of Thinking, Emotions, Sexuality, Language and Intelligence,” by Michael S. Gazzaniga. $15.00.

This book challenges the nature vs. nurture viewpoint and asks us to consider the concept of Natural Selection as a way of looking at human behavior. Dr. Gazzaniga believes that Natural Selection explains everything from clinical depression to addiction, substance abuse, and language. Just like the environment selects those organisms that will survive our brain has the capacity to pull out what we need to know to live in our world. Our brains are like the black box of an airplane, and/or a deep complicated file cabinet and we select the information we need at the time we need it. “All we do is discover what is already built into our brains.”

“Emotional Brain,” by Joseph LeDoux. (Amazon rating 4.5 stars) $9.90.

I read Nature’s Mind before I read this book because I felt it would give me a better introduction into the science of the brain.

Jospeh LeDoux is a brain researcher who believes that many of our emotions in particular fear evolved from early man in response to their harsh and dangerous environment. This was our protection. Our feelings and emotions have evolved over centuries as a result of this protective behavior. The brain makes sense and reacts unconsciously to information and stimuli in order to better instruct us physically what to do in certain situations. Dr. LeDoux studied the brain’s fear system which leads him to conclude that we may be unaware of fear-related memories that get imprinted on the brain. This can lead to disorders like PTSD, OCD, Phobias, Anxiety among others. Dr. Ledoux talks about multiple memory systems. The most interesting one to me is the “emotional memories.” They used rats to do a lot of fear conditioning experiments and the results are interesting. Not easy reading for me but I enjoyed this book.

“Defending the Cavewoman: And Other Tales of Evolutionary Neurology,” by Harold L. Klawans, MD. (Amazon rating 4.5 stars). $17.47.

It’s interesting to read Dr. Klawans view on evolution. He believes that the development of Homo Sapiens was the result of how females, the primary caretakers of the children played a vital role in evolution of Homo Sapiens. The female taught communication skills, language and was the primarily educator while the men hunted and developed tools for food. And on the other hand, Neanderthals according to Dr. Klawans cannot be traced today even though Neanderthals and modern human beings lived side by side for thousands of years. The more adaptable or more juvenilized. The books also explains the history of neurology, and the function and structure of the brain. Dr. Klawans had a great interest in Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease and gives clinical anecdotal evidence of how evolution controls how these diseases operate.

“My Lunch with Oliver”, Dr. Klawans chapter about neurologist and author, Oliver Sacks was my favorite chapter. I loved the book, The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat by Oliver Sacks. They both specialized in movement disorders. Their differences was discussed and their mutual respect and admiration was a pleasure to read.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD):

Patricia Pott:

“OCD: A Guide for the Newly Diagnosed. ” by Michael A. Tompkins, PhD. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc. 2012. $11.96.

Having lived for more than 20 years with someone who suffered from Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (a type of OCD) I can say I wish I would have had access to this book back then. For someone newly diagnosed this is an excellent guide which offers guidance about how it affects the person as well as those involved in his/her life. Having to live with OCD is devastating enough, but doing it alone would be doubly hard. The author gives meaningful and practical tips for helping friends, relatives and those in the workplace understand the disorder, hopefully enabling them to remain supportive instead of at a distance.

If the person with OCD is willing, there are good suggestions for finding the right therapy (several options are mentioned), the right medications that are helpful, and for gathering a group of supportive people around. Importance is place on the right attitude because many with OCD refuse to give up control by seeking help. The author discusses what the right attitude for successful treatment consists of, which can help the sufferer gear up for seeking help.

The author also presents the wrong ways to try and cope with the disorder. As in any illness, seeking illegal drugs, alcohol or even the wrong medications can only worsen symptoms and cause people who might have been supportive to steer clear of the sufferer. Knowing that the symptoms definitely affect other family members can be an impetus for making an effort to deal with symptoms. The person with OCD and those who care for him/her need to be watchful for depression symptoms.

If you have been diagnosed with OCD or know someone who has, this is a very helpful book. It is under 140 pages and is fast reading. The author presents his material in an interesting and compassionate way. He has included a list of resources and references.

Patricia Pott
Book Review Editor, Gift From Within

Patricia Pott:

“Loving Someone with OCD: Help for You & Your Family. ” by Landsman, Karen, J., PhD.; Rupertus, Kathleen M., MA, MS; & Pedrick, Cherry, RN. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc. 2005. $13.57.

I recently reviewed a book for those newly diagnosed with OCD. This book I now review is written for the family of those who suffer from OCD. The authors begin by explaining OCD and its causes, how difficult it is for the sufferer and offering examples of families who live with a member who suffers from this disorder. One of the authors, herself, is recovering from OCD and therefore offers tremendous insight about the disorder.

The authors explain, in the second chapter, the treatments that are helpful for OCD and explain some of the faulty thinking suffered by those who struggle with the disorder. In chapter three, insight into how the sufferer thinks is described and discussed.

Chapter 4 is one of the most valuable chapters in the book. It offers invaluable insight on how to deal with the sufferer, how the family can help the sufferer and has helpful discussion questions to guide the supporter in this endeavor. I think this chapter is extremely helpful because the family members can become so caught up in trying to cope with the disorder that they begin to lose themselves in the process. Chapters 5 through 7 continue this trend of helping the family cope by discussing the Family Contract and how to create one that will work with the family.

Chapter 8 is for the parents, siblings and friends of the OCD sufferer, how they can have a successful relationship with their family member that is helpful also to themselves. Also discussed is the possibility that a parent may also suffer from OCD and what that means.

Chapter 9 is written for the sufferer and his/her spouse, regardless of whether the disorder was revealed before marriage. The authors discuss the effects of the disorder on all aspects of the relationship and how to ensure all marital issues are not blamed on OCD.

Chapters 10 and 11 deal with building up the family?s resilience and on looking to the future with encouragement and hope. The authors conclude with an exhaustive list of resources for families suffering with OCD.

I cannot stress enough how valuable I think this book is for families living with an OCD sufferer. It is exhaustive, extremely helpful and, most of all, hopeful. I highly recommend it.

Patricia Pott
Book Review Editor,
Gift From Within

Office & The Workplace:

“Overcome Prejudice at Work (Harvard Medical School Guides),” by Ranna Parekh M.D.,
and Carl C. Bell, M.D. , Kindle Edition. $5.99.

This short book is filled with interesting and helpful stories and ideas on how to overcome and respond to prejudice in the office. The authors including the brilliant Dr. Carl Bell, President & C.E.O. – Community Mental Health Council (CMHC) & Foundation, Inc., who explains the concept of microaggression. You may not be familiar with this term but you certainly will identify and/or understand it after reading this book. You will also understand what a microinsult is and why it is important to be aware of it.

While I realize that this book was written for the working person it goes far deeper than the workplace and/or office. Microaggression affects our neighborhoods, communities, and families. Remember the old adage, sticks and stones will break our bones but names will never harm us. Add to that dirty looks and microinsults. We know that words hurt.

A lot of us have been living with this subtle (and not so subtle) forms of microaggression and microinsults. And I think people who have felt the sting of racism, sexism and those with traumatic stress symptoms, and mental illnesses definitely feel stigmatized because of how they have been treated.

This book helps explain these feelings that we have felt from time to time and couldn’t always find an explanation. Sometimes we are not sure it’s racism, sexism, or a bad day that causes people to be cruel and this is also something we need to be aware of. Awareness is the key and communication and conversations may help those in the future.

Kudos to the authors for writing this compelling look at prejudice
Review by J. Boaz

Trauma & Addiction:


“You Can Too! A Mind, Body, Spirit Connection for Weight Loss,” by Jacqueline Garrick,.Wheaton, MD: Resilient Press. 2005. $17.95.

Garrick has written a light, easy to read, fun and entertaining book about weight loss. The book is interactive with questions to answer and checklists that will assist anyone who is ready to address their health and weight issues. The book is practical and the reader immediately feels that weight loss is doable and that it is not as difficult as she may have thought. There are wonderful tips that the author utilized and found successful for her own weight loss issues. She offers many useful links for additional support.

The author stresses that this book is especially for those unmotivated to diet and exercise. She stresses it is not a proven program but what worked for her and what she picked up along the way that was helpful. Garrick makes it clear that weight loss involves the total person and that attitudes must be changed, stressors addressed and a healthy lifestyle adopted. She lists a new weight pyramid that I found especially helpful. Since Garrick has specialized in PTSD counseling and is a life coach I feel the book is especially appropriate for our support pals who want to lose weight.

This is a fun book to read and it gives hope, motivation and inspiration. I recommend it. It is beneficial, even for those who are not overweight but want to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle.


“Trauma and Addiction: Ending the Cycle of Pain Through Emotional Literacy,” by Tian Dayton, Phd., (Amazon rating 5 stars). $11.01.

I found this book quite helpful. I truly feel it is worth a read. I just touched on a few topics to give you an idea of the content. It explained why you feel the way you do, or don’t feel for that matter; it just answered a lot of questions for me. Although it is geared for alcoholics (of which I am not and still found the book a great resource), it is also trauma based and talks about PTSD a great deal: talks about unresolved childhood trauma and how that affects our adult life; how trauma periods undermine healthy relationships; what the typical personality characteristics are that you are left with because of trauma, (explains why you are the way you are and that because of those experiences, you are normal for what you went through); explains why you feel “stuck,” and how trauma affects your physical as well as your emotional self. Most importantly, it attempts to show you how you can effectively work this through.

Favorite Novels:
Patti Pott:

“Safe Haven,” by Nicholas Sparks. New York, NY: Grand Central Publishing. 2010. (Amazon rating 4 stars) $12.99.

“Safe Haven” is Nicholas Sparks’ newest book. Sensing the subject matter, I pounced on it at Wal-Mart and began reading it immediately. As I assumed, the book deals with an abused woman and her story as she leaves her husband and flees to a small town very far away. That’s all I’ll say about the story, lest I give too much of it away. The book is spell-binding and suspenseful. It will be especially meaningful if you, like me, have lived much of this dilemma.

Many times as I read my husband would gaze at me, see that disturbed staring into space that he has seen many times before, and ask what’s wrong. I couldn’t find words to express all that was going through my mind: the memories, the feelings that I’d somehow suppressed, the reliving of fears that seemed suddenly very real and imminent, although in reality quite far away. I would just reply “this book is really getting to me.”

If you are a victim of domestic abuse you will probably be triggered when you read this story. Although a work of fiction, it is very realistic, the characters amazingly believable. If you believe in life beyond this one, and are a little bit mystical, the ending will be meaningful and hopeful.

That’s all I can say. I highly recommend this book, as well as all of Sparks’ books. I hope this will be, like several of his books, brought to the cinema.

“The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society,” by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (Amazon rating 4.5 stars) $13.20.

This is one of the best novels I’ve read in a long time. Some parts had me laughing out loud while other parts had me pondering about the courage and the goodness displayed by people during extremely difficult times. The main character is Juliet Ashton, a single woman living in London in 1946 after WW II. She is a well known author who wrote humorous essays during the war and now wants to write about something serious. Then a farmer who lives on one of the British Channel Islands, Guernsey finds Juliet’s name and address in a used book in the Guernsey library and asks her if she could help him find more work by the author. Juliet replies and that is how the story gets started.

The novel is told throughout via letters. First starting out between Juliet and her publisher, and her best friend (the best friend is the brother of Juliet’s publisher) and then Dawsey the farmer from Guernsey. Juliet starts to learn about what happened to the Guernsey inhabitants during WW II after Dawsey introduces her to some of the Islanders. She learns about their tragic stories and experiences while living on Guernsey which was held captive by German soldiers during the Nazi occupation. One of the ways they coped was by creating a literary society (which they were forced to do after being caught by German soldiers outside after curfew.) They said they were late because they were at their reading group which was not true. So they had to create the group since the soldiers said they may visit.

After a short time, Juliet decides this should be a book since the letters back and forth are touching, funny and poignant. Juliet decides that it would be best to live on Guernsey while writing and gets immersed in their culture and relationships. There is also a romance that is going on at the same time between Juliet and a wealthy and handsome businessman but what is most satisfying is the connection between Juliet and her new friends who become so important to her personally and professionally. A lovely and witty story that will have you dreaming about visiting this island.


“Lost and Found,” by Sheehan, Jacqueline
(New York, NY: Harper Collins Publisher. 2007) (Amazon rating 4.5 stars) $11.16.

If you want to read a wonderful story by an author who knows how to give pain a voice, don’t pass up this powerful little novel. And if you love animals you will especially appreciate Sheehan’s unique way of drawing you inside the emotional life of a wonderful dog. I picked up this book on a whim, attracted by the picture of a dog on the cover. Once I started reading I found myself hooked, alternately crying and laughing at different points in the story.

Written with a psychologist’s knowledge of human behavior, the star of the story is also a psychologist (Rocky) whose foundation is cracked by the unexpected death of her husband. As she seeks to regain her footing in life she escapes to a small island where she accepts a part-time job as animal warden. There she rescues, and is rescued, by, a wounded dog who captures the hearts of those in the story and the reader. The dog, who has also lost someone dear, teaches the hurting Rocky how to live and love again.

There are so many nuggets of gold throughout this book that I cannot do it justice in a short review. But I heartily recommend this book to all our support pals and feel that you will find a comrade in your pain in this author’s words and will come to feel hope that you can also find a path through your pain to a better life.

Patti Brown, book reviewer
Gift From Within


“The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint,” by Brady Udall
(New York: W.W. Norton, 2001). (Amazon rating 4.5 stars) $10.61.

This book is best summed up on the book jacket. “… this riveting picaresque novel chronicles the hopes and heartbreaks of Edgar Presley Mint. The trials of Edgar, half Apache and mostly orphaned, begin on an Arizona reservation at the age of seven, when the mailman’s jeep accidentally runs over his head. Shunted from the hospital to a school for delinquents to a Mormon foster family, comedy, pain, and trouble accompany Edgar through a string of larger-than-life experiences. Through it all, readers will root for this irrestible innocent who never truly loses heart, and whose quest for the mailman leads him to an unexpected home.”

This is a sizable novel at 423 pages and well worth every page. It’s been years since I’ve even considered reading a book this long but this is the best story I’ve read in just as many years. The characters are real and knowable. I enjoyed this novel very much. One reviewer, that says it well, said, “Edgar, the wounded, utterly orphaned, and utterly courageous narrator of Brady Udall’s outstanding novel, would have pleased Dickens no end. Enmeshed in these pages is some of the finest writing I’ve come across in a long time, as well as a story that tears at you and calls you back to it no matter what you’re up to. There is also a human heart beating in here, as beautiful and profound as your own.”

Cindy Lou:

“The Blue Bottle Club.” by Penelopy Stokes. (Amazon rating 4.5 stars). $11.89.

This is a great escapist kind of book but it also has a good message. I
enjoyed reading it. It will help you take your mind off the things going on
around you and is relaxing and at the same time inspirational.

A reporter not sure which direction her life is headed finds a blue cobolt
bottle in a mansion being torn down. Inside the bottle she finds a peice of
paper where right before the Great Depression in l929, four teenagers wrote
down the desires they had for their future. The reporter was intrigued. She
wondered whether these people still were alive and if their dreams came true.
So the reporter decides to pursue this idea for a human interest story and in
the process finds herself and realizes she can make some of her own goals for
the future. I loved it. Very inspirational. A MUST READ!

“The Amethyst Heart.” by Penelopy Stokes. (Amazon rating 5 stars). $11.89.

I don’t have a lot of time to read with two small children and working full
time but I do like this author, Penelopy Stokes and I’m recommending a few of
her books.

This excellent and highly entertaining novel is particularly fun to read if
you’re in the mood to escape everyday normal routines! This book opens with
a great-grandmother living in a pre-civil war house celebrating her birthday
with her son, his wife and their grandchild (HER great-grand daughter).
After discovering a plot that her son has against her and her ancient mansion
she sends him and his wife on an ice cream run and locks the place up holding
her great- granddaughter hostage to the mansion and all of the wonderful
stories that she begins to tell the great-granddaugther. Of course after a
few hours and becoming enraptured in the history of the house the
great-granddaughter doesn’t feel like a hostage. Travel with them all the
way back to before the civil war and learn a few secrets along the way!


“White Oleander.” by Janet Fitch. (Amazon rating 4 stars). $7.99.

An excerpt from White Oleander was selected as a notable story in Best American Short Stories 1994, while the author worked toward the book’s completion and copyright in 1999. The book begins:

“The Santa Anas blew in hot from the desert, shriveling the last of the spring grass
into whiskers of pale straw.”

Now, I ask you, is that a poem – or the beginning of a novel? I can’t tell, and I’ve read the novel twice. The second sentence,

“Only the oleanders thrived, their delicate poisonous blooms, their dagger green leaves.”

So there you have the rich theme of this novel, a second stanza if a poem – made prose by running it across the page.

“We could not sleep in the hot dry nights, my mother and I.”

In this third sentence we are given a model of simplicity, Astrid and her mother Ingrid, the main characters and the child is telling us straight away her startling truth. A child compelled “to tell” wakes up the bones of the traumatized and calls us all to see how the little girl does. We are hidden with her, our weak limp arms holding up Fitch’s book as Astrid tells, and we are holding our breath for her. We know more terrible will come.

The plot is what’s hidden behind the story of what happens, foreshadowed by the beautiful white oleander flower and the one-upmanship of poetry from her mother, the striking poet. For some, this will be a story of murder and the failure of the system to care for children. Those who once were a victim, will relive the hard chore of living and cheer for her, as she survives, the child who does it well clinging in the end to art, and cry for the older her as she goes on, insulated by cruelty, for her, more of a jail than any iron bars cast about her mother. The victim readers will argue with the “do-gooders” – about right and wrong, the pessimistic versus the optimistic in theme, and which is which. Plot happens beyond Janet Fitch’s words, a poetry of a book, Fitch’s technique a flawless use of language.

The mother Ingrid looks up at the night sky, calls it a “Raven’s – eye moon” and Astrid says softly, it’s a “Baby – face moon” ever trying to catch her mother’s eye, if not her approving.

Here is the tension, we say, those of us saddled with a narcissistic mother steeped only in self, we who sit quietly by, laying our head next to our mother’s thigh, never on her so as to provoke. She speaks softly to us of all that we lack, next to her we are less than her and not ourselves either – Ingrid’s poems tell us, as her actions already have in every nook and cranny of scene in this book.

Astrid is lifting her skin off the spider’s silky web spun by her mother as she is left go drowning in her want of a mother, cast off into one foster home after another. The art of Astrid is always changing and she survives. The mother does go through a change and is restored somewhat through the action of the story. The characters are beautifully drawn and executed. The transition is drawn effortlessly through Fitch’s wonderful character development. A poetic read for the novel reader, a must read for the poetically inclined.

I recommend White Oleander to everyone and anyone who likes to read. To my friends at GIFT FROM WITHIN I say read and take heart. I suspect there is more to Janet Fitch’s creative edge than a telling of fiction alone, she has seen close up. A survivor of violence is best able to appreciate the arc and depth of story Janet Fitch’s first novel has brought to the page.

What a marvelous read.

“The Lovely Bones,” by Alice Sebold. (Amazon rating 4 stars). $7.50.

I understand why this story is a best seller. It is a beautifully written novel about a young girl’s observations from Heaven after she is brutally murdered. It is about the worst trauma a family can face. Susie is l4 years old when she goes to Heaven and obsessively watches her parents and siblings adjust to life without her. Her parent’s marriage starts to disintegrate and the siblings have their own problems. And she watches her murderer leave town. It takes her family and friends many years to be able to remember and speak of her without it being so painful. Susie continuously watches her family live through her loss and she is glad that they miss her but also feels helpless to take away their grief. As the years go by we find Susie growing up in Heaven. She wants her family to live well without her. Her family slowly embraces life once again. You feel their hope and raw courage. Life can still be joyful, sad, beautiful and that memories can help you remember the most important thing, love.

“Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman” by Elizabeth Buchan. (Amazon rating 5 stars). $11.62.

This book is a best seller in England and I guess you could look at it as Bridget Jones diary for current baby boomers. Rose Lloyd at 48 loses her husband of 25 years and her job to her 29 year old thin and beautiful assistant. Talk about humiliation and abandonment issues. But what takes place is not the typical “Second Wives” story. Rose does not set fire to their home or try and sabotage her husband’s career or take all their assets. Instead you find a woman who is terribly shaken by this classic tale of man exchanges older wife for younger and after a well deserved bout of depression (she also loses her beloved cat) she picks herself up, reevaluates her life and through insight and a good sense of humor see that life is different but still worthwhile. She has two great kids also going through changes in their relationship and it is a family with problems but with a lot of love. Rose is a good role model and is very believeable. Her thoughts are thoughts a 48 woman in her position would have. A satisfying book.

“Samaritan,” by Richard Price. (Amazon rating 4.5 stars). $5.99.

This is a crime novel. Not a genre I usually read. But occasionally I watch or listen to IMUS in the morning and he said it was a great book, especially the Black female detective in the novel who tries to solve a vicious assault on an old friend. She still lives and he used to live in the Projects in Dempsey, New Jersey. I quickly got involved with the characters.

The social and psychological portraits of this neighborhood and the people who live there will keep you interested. The people and their somewhat fractured existence is troubling and familiar. You will remember them when the novel ends. Ray is White and make a success of himself as a writer. We find him arriving back in the NY area already divorced and guilt ridden for being a former drug addicted cab driver and absentee father. He leaves a successful TV show in Hollywood to come home to get reacquainted with this daughter, Ruby. He decides to do some pro bono work at his old High School. Ray has a desperate need to be liked. He is insecure, has low self esteem and a lot of guilt. This excessive need to be “seen as a great guy” gets him into trouble. He gives money away to a couple of people in the Projects and has an affair with the daughter of one of his old High School acquaintances.

We find Ray in the hospital practically dead after being assaulted in his apartment. Why would someone want to assault him, almost kill him? It’s a Whodunit? And Ray won’t tell who did it to him. The other central character is Narese, a Black detective, l0 days until retirement, who refuses to give up and is obsessed with getting the perp. Ray did her a good turn when they were youngsters. She can’t figure out why Ray won’t tell. She is a single mom who had to fight for all she has gotten in life. Her life story drawn out in the novel is poignant and sounds all to real. At the end, we finally understand why Ray didn’t want to tell. And I understood why he kept silent.

“We The Living,” by Ayn Rand. (Amazon rating 4.5 stars). $7.99.

This is a powerful, painful, compelling story written in l936 that is fitting to read in this time of war and unrest. Many people have read or heard about Ayn Rand’s novels, “The Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged.” “We The Living,” is what Ayn Rand considered the closest to an autobiography we would ever write. Ayn Rand was born, educated and lived many years in Soviet Russia. The story takes places after the Russian Revolution. The story is about a young woman who disagrees with those in power, their slogans, the red banners and those who have decided that an individual’s needs are to be scarified for the “collective.” She lived in a world where there was no higher purpose than to give one’s life for the good of the whole. The belief was that there should be no other values or convictions other than what is good for the whole. Some of Kira’s family agree but feel defeated to do anything but try to live. Living is not easy as food and housing is sparse. One was considered to be a bourgeois if they once owned a home, possessions, and money through private business. After the Revolution, their reality was considerably worse and were treated suspiciously. Kira had family members who either decided to join the party and all that entailed (spying and reporting on those individuals who advocated free thinking), and those who gave up and gave in.

Kira is determined to find a way to own her life and not be controlled by those who decide what is evil and what is not. It’s her story. It’s about her family and the two men who mean a great deal to her and love her. There is the charismatic Leo and Andrei, the handsome Communist who slowly learns the true nature of his ambition.

Like the character, Kira, Ayn Rand believed in the “pursuit of happiness” and the right of human beings to live and fulfill their dreams. The story will give you an accurate portrayal of life in a Communist society. I highly recommend this book.

“The Secret Life of Bees,” by Sue Monk Kidd. (Amazon rating 4 stars). $8.40.

I did not want this beautifully written poignant novel to end. This is the story of a young girl named Lily who lives on a Peach farm in South Carolina during the 1960s era of social and racial unrest. Lily’s life revolves around working the farm, trying to avoid her father’s anger, and daydreaming about the loving mother she remembered as a baby. Lily is tortured emotionally because her father said that she left Lily with him. At some point when her mother returned, Lily accidentally killed her with a gun and the rest of her time on that farm revolves around that image and what her mother was really like and if her mom really loved her. Finding out about her mother’s past haunts Lily. Lily’s father is un-loving and brutal. When Lily’s beloved nanny speaks back to a group of white racists who traunted her they escape. They go to Tiburon, SC where Lily believes her mother was and the only clue she has is the face of a Black Madonna card that belonged to her mother. Lily in the end finds self-love and maternal love after living with a group of sisters who run a bee farm and have a strong devotion to a Black Madonna. Lily discovers the truth about her mother and herself through these wonderful divine strong women.


“The Five People You Meet in Heaven,” by Mitch Albom. (Amazon rating 4 stars). $5.99.

Albom’s story features 83 year-old Eddie, his life, death and afterlife. On his 83rd birthday Eddie, a maintenance supervisor at an amusement park, loses his life while trying to rescue a little girl from a malfunctioning park ride. But his story does not end there. Eddie finds himself face to face with five people whose lives he directly influenced while on earth. Among the five are individuals he never really met, some he met only in passing and others he was close to in life. All five, Eddie learns, have something valuable to teach him before he continues on his eternal journey.

I was eager to comply with the request to do this book review, having begun recommending it as soon as I finished reading it earlier this year. It’s a marvelous little book that captures and holds one’s attention and has a crucial lesson for all of us, one so easily forgotten in our busy and somewhat self-indulgent society. The lesson is that we influence everyone whose lives we touch, even in passing and on a daily basis. We are all part of diverse human family and do nothing in a vacuum. We have a tremendous capacity to help and to hurt. In the shadows is a Power who watches and loves and has only the best interest at heart for all of us, and hence He chooses the five people who can teach us what we need to know to make us complete. Once you read this book, you will find it is a wonderful gift for your friends and family.


“Health Journeys,” by Belleruth Naparstek. (Amazon rating 4.5 stars). $17.98.

This CD works on several levels offering both guided imagery and affirmations. The CD has 3 tracks. The 1st track is Ms. Naparstek’s introduction. Her slightly husky voice is calm and clear. She explains the benefits of guided imagery and states that the listener is in control and can take breaks whenever needed. I was surprised when she mentioned that the listener’s experience of the imagery would change over time. I have had the CD for several months and personally found this to be true. The 2nd track is the guided imagery. She starts with relaxation techniques: concentrating on the breath and body working together. Once the listener is physically relaxed, breathing is used to acknowledge and set aside thoughts and quiet the listener’s emotions. She also leads you through your body, especially your heart. There a warm, accepting presence joins you. The visitor is whoever or whatever you want. Together you journey through your heart’s landscape. It is not a pretty place but your companion is there to help and comfort you. Together you find hidden gifts. A glowing tunnel leads you to the deep beautiful core of your heart. Inner allies, both imagined and real, offer you the pieces of your heart, affirming the healing process and the treasures within you. The third track is affirmations. They are positive statements about you. I know this because I have read the affirmations. For some reason I always fall asleep at this point. For me this CD has been a powerful tool. It addresses the emotional toll of PTSD while affirming the healing process. The reason behind developing PTSD is never addressed and I liked that. The focus is on what is within now. My one reservation prior to ordering the CD is that it is accompanied by music. I thought it might be distracting but it complements the guided imagery. It was soothing and non-intrusive.

I highly recommend the CD. I have noticed that good memories from my childhood, especially my grandmother, are coming back to me. Once in awhile I wake and KNOW I am not alone. They are small changes but important ones.


“Sage Advice for Trauma Survivors and Caregivers,” by Gift From Within. 2007. 58 minutes. $l5.00.

This CD is full of great insight and advice for those new to Gift From Within and those of us who may have been members for years. It addresses PTSD in laymen’s terms and will greatly benefit those who are just coming to terms with this illness to understand what they are going through as well as answering questions seasoned members may be pondering. It is a great tool for helping those who love us to understand our illness and why we struggle or exhibit behaviors they may find puzzling and help them to be able to support us.

The CD is almost an hour long and the hour goes by very quickly. The material is handled in an interesting manner and dealt with very compassionately. This is a tool that is done quite professionally, and the subject matter is presented in a question/answer format, very clearly and concisely. It holds one’s attention, is validating and is a great help tool.

If you have not yet listened to the CD I would recommend you do so and then to recommend others in the help profession to order a copy.