Expert reviews

“I’ve often heard it said that acceptance—recognizing that you have a mental heath condition—is the first step toward overcoming it. But it’s not that simple. Self-Acceptance: The Key to Recovery from Mental Illness provides a more complete view that recognizes loss of identity and self-esteem as one of the ‘most significant casualties people diagnosed with mental illness experience’ … In order to start a journey to recovery it is incredibly important to work ‘toward a more positive sense of self in the face of illness-related obstacles that threaten it.’ Self-Acceptance is not a textbook. It’s an easy-to-read, self-help workbook intended for people living with depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. It can be useful for individuals, groups or mental health providers. It may be especially valuable for people who as a result of their illness have experienced one or more hospitalizations, unemployment or disruption in education … Exercises can be done one at a time or by section at your own pace. The workbook’s structure and questions bring personal strengths into focus and substitute positive-thinking for negative feelings. It identifies needs and coping strategies. Once exercises are completed, they help provide a personalized roadmap."

Bob Carolla, Senior Writer, National Alliance on Mental Illness

“I have had the profound and rewarding experience of leading self-acceptance groups using Dr. Ashear’s workbook. It is difficult to put into words my personal sense of wonder associated with the outcomes that these sessions lead the patients to achieve. The gentle engagement and subsequent progression through sessions about grief, self-forgiveness, self-esteem, and self-care (among other topics) are combined with informative sessions that include messages from people who have first-hand experience with serious mental illness and who have developed skills to adapt to everyday life. I watched the patients who invested in the group process resolve anger, make friends, and find some peace within themselves relative to their mental illness. To quote the words of the wife of one patient when she attended our group graduation, ‘I had to come and see who you all were, because my husband is a different man.’ I wholeheartedly recommend this manual.”

Susan M. Blaney, MSN, FPMHNP-BC, VA Medical Center, Denver, Colorado

“Victor Ashear’s workbook highlights the importance of self-acceptance in recovery from significant psychological difficulties. Drawing on his many years of clinical experience in the field, Ashear covers important topics and provides exploratory questions to assist in increasing self-awareness. It is full of useful materials both for individuals who are sufficiently stable and able to self-reflect and for mental health professionals providing group therapy."

Pamela Fuller, PhD, author of Surviving, Existing, or Living: Phase-Specific Therapy for Severe Psychosis

“Here is a useful and field-tested resource for persons with serious mental illnesses, their loved ones, and practitioners dedicated to assisting such persons. It offers tools and practical guidance for accepting oneself as a worthwhile and contributing member of society. People cannot make progress in recovery without valuing and accepting themselves. This manual drives that point home with grace, determination, and humility."

Larry Davidson, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry Yale University, Editor, American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation

"I used Self-Acceptance for an extended period during my group work with clients meeting criteria for severe and persistent mental illness. I found the book to be very user friendly for therapist and clients. One client reports that she was able to form healthy relationships with group members, which represented marked progress for her, as she had been isolated for years and avoided social contact with others. Clients also reported that they liked the format, with weekly topics and assignments they could work on during the week, and they felt they could work at their own pace between group meetings. As a therapist I found that the book breaks down important negative stereotypes about mental illness in a safe, non-threatening manner and helps clients explore concepts and self-esteem in relation to their mental health problems without becoming defensive."

Janet M. Lassen, LCSW, Mental Health Therapist, Northern Wyoming Mental Health Center