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 difficult 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

J. Peters is the Editor-in-Chief of Mental Health Affairs.

Award-winning book author and Bold 10 Under ten award recipient J. Peters, LCSW. Through his work as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Mental health therapist and disability rights advocate Mr. Peters fights for those without a voice in various care systems, such as the New York City Department of Social Services, the New York State Office of Mental Health, or the city's Department of Corrections.

Mr. Peter's battle with Schizophrenia began at New London University in his last semester of college. Discharged from Greater Liberty State Hospital Center in July 2008, Jacque's recovery was swift but not painless and indeed brutal after spending six months there.

He has published several journal articles on recovery and mental health and three books: University on Watch, Small Fingernails, and Wales High School. He is also a board member of the newspaper City Voices. Mr. Peters currently sits on the CAB committee (Consumer Advisory Board) for the Department of Mental Health and Hygiene in NYC and the Office of Mental Health (OMH) as a peer advocate.

Owner of Recovery Now in New York, a private psychotherapy practice, Mr. Peter's approach is rooted in a foundation of evidence-based practices (EBP). Jacques earned a master's degree in Social Work from Binghamton University and worked as a field instructor for master's and bachelor's level students in NYC.

He is blogging daily on his site mentalhealthaffairs.blog, Mr. Peters regularly writes articles relating to his lived experience with a mental health diagnosis.

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