Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal is a book for the seasoned professional and the beginning graduate student, as well as for the patient and the family. This is in keeping with Dr. Breggin’s emphasis on a collaborative team approach to treatment and especially to drug withdrawal. This is not a book you will read once, but one you will have by your side, as a reference, for helping a love one or your client.

The first ten chapters inform us of the effects psychiatric drugs have on our brains and educate us regarding specific drugs. In chapter 11, Dr. Breggin, using his years of clinical experiences, puts all the ingredients together and demonstrates how to help individuals regain their lives from the disabling effects of drugs. Dr. Breggin does this by putting counseling and psychotherapy back in the forefront as the intervention and not the drugs. He gives respect and dignity back to the counseling process, including the active participation of the client and at times the family.

It is refreshing to read a book renewing the use of the core conditions (empathy, genuineness, and positive self-regard) as necessary and sufficient in helping clients’ function effectively. This is a long stretch from the medical model, which mistrusts human nature, relies on brain drugs, and denies self-responsibility. Dr. Breggin invites us to use what works, empathy and a therapeutic relationship.

This is a book that is both academic and clinical, and at the same time easily read by clients and families. A rare combination for the practicing therapist. His years of experience researching the effects of psychiatric medications combined with being an excellent practitioner are explained in a systematic and effective manner. You will learn the effects of drugs and how to approach your client in a collaborative and humane manner. This is what we need. The idea that drugs are the answer has failed and at the high cost of human suffering.

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