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BOOK REVIEW: Better Days by Craig Lewis (CPS)

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Better Days – A Mental Health Recovery Workbook


This book helps those aspiring toward recovery and wellness and also those in recovery because it addresses and challenges the individual — is very real, raw, and honest ways – to make significant cognitive adjustments in how they live their lives (Lewis, Better Days)


The author could not be more on point in framing this novel edition to self-help, wellness, and the road to recovery from a peer perspective. His pragmatism only matches Mr. Lewis’s realism. Mr. Lews’s curriculum in the book is rooted in his path to healing years ago.

Mr. Lewis dishes out recovery in fabulously palatable forward-thinking pieces of narration and encouragement.

Mr. Lewis’s curriculum reframes the age-old notion that ‘work’ and ‘labor’ during recovery is too diffiuclt to take on. Ideas like: “I’m too old or it is just too much work” and situates these ideas in the larger context of what health and better living mean- less sickness and more life ahead.

By the end of the book, your mindset lifts as your point of departure to get genuinely started in recovery to put Mr. Lewis’s theory into practice. The book is also joyous.

The book does not rely upon drawing from dark content that many recovery books rely upon to get the audience involved and understand what feeling better means in living life without undue stress and heartache. 

Mr. Lewis’s work is a beacon of light in this critic’s library. Better Days will undoubtedly sit in a prominent place in my bookcase. As accessible as this writing is, it is also only surpassed with an essential ingredient: hope. Forward, future-oriented, and goal-oriented, this reader has enough tools in his pocket to launch him even further in recovery and every intersection in between when it comes to Better Days ahead.

I highly recommend this book for peers and counselors, and therapists who want to take a more down to earth and grittily realistic refresher of what life is like for people outside the office and a crash course for those starting in their careers. Thank you, Craig. I look forward to reading more of your work.

 

 

About the Author

J. Peters

Max Guttman '08, MSW '12, is the owner of Recovery Now, a private mental health practice. Through his work as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, therapist and disability rights advocate, Max fights for those without a voice in various New York City care systems. He received a 2020 Bearcats of the Last Decade 10 Under 10 award from the Binghamton University Alumni Association.

Guttman treats clients with anxiety and depression, but specializes in issues related to psychosis or schizoaffective spectrum disorders. He frequently writes on his lived experiences with schizophrenia.

"I knew my illness was so complex that I’d need a professional understanding of its treatment to gain any real momentum in recovery," Guttman says. "After undergraduate school and the onset of my illness, I evaluated different graduate programs that could serve as a career and mechanism to guide and direct my self-care. After experiencing the helping hand of my social worker and therapist right after my 'break,' I chose social work education because of its robust skill set and foundation of knowledge I needed to heal and help others."

"In a world of increasing tragedy, we should help people learn from our lived experiences. My experience brings humility, authenticity and candidness to my practice. People genuinely appreciate candidness when it comes to their health and recovery. Humility provides space for mistakes and appraisal of progress. I thank my lived experience for contributing to a more egalitarian therapeutic experience for my clients."

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