To move out of the darkened room that is depression, a parent must first move beyond denial--about the disease itself, and about its toll on the entire family. Politely bucking traditional reactive psychiatric methods, Dr. William Beardslee presents his effective program of "preventive intervention," designed to work over the long haul. The goals are twofold: first, to bolster suffering parents with strong tools for healing; second, and most importantly, to promote resilience in their children.
A handful of pages cover the basics about medicines and therapy styles available for harnessing one's current depressive disorder. Beardslee strongly recommends incorporating both forms of treatment. But the majority of his praise (and page realty) is dedicated to teaching parents how to initiate and maintain powerful family communication. True healing begins with a family meeting, where parents speak honestly about their disease and invite children to discuss their own feelings, thoughts, and worries.
Throughout the book, in-depth stories from diverse families under Beardslee's professional wing illustrate the difficulties and rewards associated with this commitment to sharing. Beardslee's gentle, encouraging confidence in this process, supported by many additional research findings, sends a positive and optimistic message to those seeking help for themselves and protection for their children. --Liane Thomas
Beardslee, a psychiatrist, draws on 20 years of study to offer encouragement and therapeutic strategies for families struggling with depression. The illness is fairly widespread (20 percent of Americans suffer from depression at some time in their lives) but goes generally unrecognized and untreated because of guilt, shame, and confusion. Beardslee outlines the symptoms of depression as well as the biological bases and causes of the disease. He provides accounts of families coping with depression to illustrate the treatment program developed at Children's Hospital in Boston, where he practices. Beardslee takes a preventive approach to help families recognize depression, develop resiliency, and reduce the risks. Profiles of families who have coped well with a range of challenges, from divorce, death, job loss, and other life woes, show the characteristics associated with triumphing over adversity and avoiding depression. Separate chapters explore depression in adults and children and the threat of suicide, the ultimate mental health crisis. A useful and accessible resource. Vanessa BushCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved