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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking view on voice hearers..., 31 May 2013
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This review is from: Agnes's Jacket: A Psychologist's Search for the Meanings of Madness (Paperback)
This book is a personal journey of discovery, and a fascinating view on the experiences of voice hearers past and present. Professor Hornstein presents a personal reflection on her journey to discover the first hand narratives of voice hearers, drawing on historical writings of people who have experienced what we health professionals call psychosis, including that embroidered into Agnes's jacket, apparently the only way she (Agnes) could record her thoughts in her hospital setting. Gail Hornstein cleverly combines her own thoughts and reflections on peer support groups in the UK (mostly through the Hearing Voices Network) and in her native USA, and argues that mental health professionals have much to learn from the testimony of those who live with these experiences. I had the privilege of meeting the author on her recent trip to the UK and she makes a powerful case for a paradigm shift in how we understand the human experience of 'madness'. The conversational and reflective narrative style of the book make it an easy read, but she makes a very cogent academic argument that we 'experts by training' would do well to learn more, and listen better, to the 'experts by experience'.
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