In my clinical experience, schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders is unlike any other treatment progress. Not because they are so different, but because the power of treatment can be done so well and you need to be very intentional about how you approach them. One specific part of treatment is how to work with someone who has psychosis while they are in a delusion or having a psychotic episode and may not be rational. Dr. Xavier Amador’s book I Am Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help! addresses how to minimize the impact of psychotic episodes and help the clients not have to be involuntarily hospitalized.
Dr. Xavier brings a uniquely lived experience of having a sibling with psychosis and how he was able to not only help his brother in treatment, but continue to engage even when it felt like his brother was denying there were any problems. The book follows a technique I highly encourage in Motivational Interviewing and the text is written not only for mental health professionals, but loved ones of people who suffer with psychosis.
The book reads easy and yet is powerful in his push to not only treat people with psychosis as people, but help to empathize and see their perspective. The comment he makes numerous times is “I wouldn’t want to take medication either,” a statement that many professionals may have initially scoffed at because it goes against the grain, but gives dignity and respect back to the client. A conversation I constantly love to have with clients is “I know a lot about counseling stuff, but you are the expert in you and so you need to help lead the conversation in session.” It gives them their power back and makes them take ownership of counseling.
I give this book 5 out of 5 stars and would highly recommend it to any pastor, layperson, or professional to read.
If you want a 20-minute preview of the concepts in the book, Dr. Xavier gave a TEDTalk on the premise of the book that you can watch here: