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Soteria: Through Madness to Deliverance Paperback – December 21, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

After studying at Stanford University, Loren R. Mosher received his MD from Harvard Medical School in 1961. His psychiatric training took place at Harvard and at the National Institute of Mental Health's Intramural Program in Bethesda, MD. After working with Anna Freud, John Bowlby, R. D. Laing, and others in London, Dr. Mosher served as Chief of the Center for the Studies of Schizophrenia at the NIMH from 1968 to 1980 during which time he designed and implemented the Soteria Project. He also established and was first editor-in-chief of the Schizophrenia Bulletin. In 1980, he studied Italy’s radical new mental health law. From 1981 to 1988, he was professor of psychiatry at the Uniformed University of the Health Sciences (Maryland). From 1988 to 1998 he was medical director of two county-wide public mental health systems in Maryland and California. His last posts were as clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California at San Diego and director of Soteria Associates in San Diego. Soteria was complete and at the publisher when Dr. Mosher died in 2004.

After earning his undergraduate degree in American Studies with a minor in sociology from California State University—Fresno, Voyce Hendrix, LCSW, took an MS in social work at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. Before completing his formal studies, he worked in the field of mental heath in state institutions, private hospitals, and community-support programs. Hendrix took part in research examining alternatives to treatment in psychiatric hospitals in the community (Soteria) and at the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto. This research was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. Hendrix also worked as a licenced psychiatric technician and served as an administrator. He is now a licenced clinical social worker practicing in Wisconsin. His 40-year career has offered him comprehensive experience with a wide spectrum of services and models for helping those who suffer and experience alternative states of reality and has taught him that there are no simple answers for disturbed and disturbing persons in pain.

Washington, D.C.-area freelance writer and editor Deborah C. Fort earned her PhD in comparative literature from the University of Maryland in 1974. After a decade of teaching English and writing at the college level, she turned full-time to writing and editing, specializing in science, education, and women's issues. Of the numerous books on which she has worked, she is proudest of her service as association editor on Gifted Young in Science: Potential Through Performance (National Science Teachers Association, 1989) and A Hand Up: Women Mentoring Women in Science (Association for Women in Science, 1993, 1995). Among other projects, she is currently working on a study of the influence of Paul F. Brandwein on science education in America.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Xlibris (December 21, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1413465234
  • ISBN-13: 978-1413465235
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #607,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Jim Gottstein on March 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
In "Soteria: Through Madness to Deliverance," Loren Mosher and Voyce Hendrix, with Deborah Fort, paint a vivid picture of the day to day life at Soteria-House, the Northern California alternative to psychiatric hospitalization that proved it is possible to help people through madness with kindness, empathy and validating people's experiences, and most importantly, by "being with" people, rather than "doing to" them. Due to his prolific writings, Dr. Mosher has presented many scientific papers on Soteria, but in this book, the program comes to life. The failures as well as the successes are described.

Only with this book has it been possible to get a sense of what it was like to be at Soteria. Through the truly dedicated and caring staff, such as the incredible Voyce Hendrix (and even the residents), people were allowed their madness and, through being allowed their madness, able to get through it and on with their lives. This book is a must read for anyone interested in alternatives to the prevailing pessimistic paradigm of psychiatric treatment. It is truly a story of hope. A story of a better path -- a path not currently taken.

Dr. Mosher, loved "being with" people who were psychotic. He called them "my most interesting customers." Dr. Mosher, passed away in July of 2004, at the age of 70, five months before the book was published. He must have written this book knowing that his personal efforts on behalf of providing a humane form of care was going to cease. Thus, "Soteria: Through Madness to Deliverance" must be seen as his final act of love to people experiencing disturbing psychosis by leaving a trail to follow for those who have the vision to see it.
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Bill Norwood on January 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
Why read the book?
1..Buying it supports vital work.
2..Less than 1% of the book can appear here.
3..Change, action and recovery can replace hand-wringing.
4.."Understanders" are therapeutic for the seriously disturbed.

Soteria (Greek for deliverance) was a community-based, experimental, residential treatment facility in San Jose CA during 1971-1983, offering refuge mostly to young "schizophrenics." Would Soteria be as effective...as a nearby psychiatric ward where antipsychotic drugs were highly valued?

Focus: Given...that people labeled as "schizophrenic" often cannot develop or maintain close interpersonal relationships and supportive (non-family) network systems, Soteria believed these should comprise its focus.

The Moos Social Scales, which were heeded by Soteria, tallied staff's judgments about treatment areas, as they measured involvement, support, spontaneity, autonomy, practical orientation, personal problem orientation, tolerance of anger and aggression, order and organization, program clarity, and staff control.

Causation of Psychosis: More than half of adult admissions...to psychiatric hospital wards have histories of sexual and/or physical abuse. Also there may be parents' inability to focus and be clear, and parents' hostility toward their children... When someone goes "crazy," it's often in response to numerous problems, usually triggered by a particularly distressing event like a romantic rejection, the death of a parent, or excessive involvement with recreational drugs - - or inability to form social networks apart from families of origin.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Michele C. Moore on June 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
Soteria is the exposition of a grand experiment in the holistic treatment of schizophrenia and is recommended reading for anyone who has an interest in mental illness. When one applies outcomes criteria to the Soteria program, it holds up as equally effective to any of today's drug therapies.

I applaud the authors for their very accessible and important work.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Steven J. Lister on March 30, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Soteria means "Salvation" and is about an experiment that was done in the late seventies early eighties in California. The premise of the experiment was essentially to take first episode psychotics and schizophrenics and put them in a house in a community instead of a hospital. Instead of filling them with drugs, the author and his team used a technique of "Being With" the person experiencing psychosis and aiding them in a Non-Medical Model manner toward integration and recovery. In other words, "being with" a person experiencing extremes states of mind, instead of warehousing or chemically restraining them.

There were actually two houses, one called "Soteria" and the other called "Emmon" where recruits from college campuses would manage the day to day affairs of the house and interact with the residents. Mosher Et Al drew a fairly realistic picture of the environment and the people in it and how things were done. The claim of recovery without drugs is supported with some anecdotal evidence, but the book lacks any real case studies to support the claims. It is elsewhere that some of this evidence is available, for this reason I gave this book a 3 star rating.
The project came out of the ruins of the Kingdom Hall experiment in England which was conducted by the Laing, in which Mosher was an observer. Although "Kingdom Hall" was essentially a disaster, there were some quality ideas involved that Mosher added to his own ideas and created the Soteria project.

The writing is good and not only Mosher puts his ideas and thoughts about the project to pen and paper, but also other members of the project.
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