BOOK REVIEW: The Craig Lewis Guide to Surviving the Impossible

BOOK REVIEW: The Craig Lewis Guide to Surviving the Impossible

We don’t do a lot of book reviews on this site.

I find most writing on mental health either overdone, underdeveloped or rife with inaccuracies. 

This is where the book review of Mr. Lewis’ Guide to Surviving the Impossible enters the conversation… 

Mr. Lewis created a real-life, down-to-earth, accessible guide. He wasn’t joking when he said the guide, a phrase he will often repeat in the book and with honest self-skepticism. Craig Lewis’s guide is self-reflective. It is a textual reflection of his own journey in mental health. This isn’t a textbook. This isn’t a novel.

This is his guide to get from traumatized to surviving. 

See, most mental health books claim to know everything about all things psychology, medicine, and psychiatry. This book, I mean, guide, is very different. When I first read the title, I thought to myself, here is another book on overcoming any obstacle in life and becoming a hero.


I couldn’t have been more wrong, and I, myself, and the world of readers that take this guide on will never look back. This guide includes Mr. Lewis’s ongoing critical reflections, poems, and other insights he contemplates as he survives trauma. The insights include Mr. Lewis’s wit and sarcasm, the humor he needs to mobilize, as he survives and lives to share how with you, the reader.

In doing so, Mr. Lewis includes worksheets for the reader to engage with directly. He offers no cheap metaphors to quote and sound healthy–but the grit of your own shit to work with as he gently launches you to a better place in your mental health.

When you get there, he only asks that you remember him and tell him how and why it helped.

I highly encourage the reader to read this novel guide on survival if you are done with the usual textbooks about being perfect in your mental health. 

The Craig Lewis Guide to Surviving the Impossible is available to purchase.


J. Peters

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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