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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.     

George E 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 changing enlightenment."

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 one hope."

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.

ISBN 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