A View from the Cosmic Mirror - This fascinating self-empowerment guide is immensely compelling in its scope and vision. Incorporating the wisdom of the ages, it will take you on an extraordinary journey into the very heart and soul of yourself.
Reading this book will
change your life forever.
All of us have hidden parts within us. These are the things about ourselves that we do not see--our haunting darkness and our illuminating light. We often hide from our own flaws. But we also can hide from our own undeveloped talents and vital spirit. Most of us would like to discover a more whole and complete self. To do this, we must clearly see the accurate reflection of ourselves in the people and objects around us. What it takes is to discover our unseen but true reflection in the cosmic mirror. Come join us. Begin your journey down a new path.
One of the most important books of our generation, A View from the Cosmic Mirror: Reflections of the Self in Everyday Life by coauthors Gary Gemmill, Ph.D. and George Kraus, Ph.D. soothes readers while raising their level of consciousness and insight into their own and others' behavior. A profound and practical guide, it allows readers to discover the unseen but true reflection of their innermost selves. It demands that each of us look at the elemental causes of who we are as individuals in the grand scheme of things--interrelated and deeply connected.
Written in plain and simple language, the material in this book has been developed over years of clinical practice. In sixteen chapters, the authors share a remarkable perspective on the foundations and clues of what they call the cosmic mirror. Central in how human relatedness and consciousness evolve, the concept is part of a new age of literature at the forefront of human enlightenment. Combining scholarly sophistication with abundant verbal and pictorial illustrations, this fascinating guide takes readers through a process of startling realism and endless possibilities of the life that can await them. Life partners will discover new perspectives on understanding and resolving longstanding differences, parents will uncover new ways of parenting that will enhance their child's image of themselves, clinicians will realize more effective ways of relating to their patients, and corporate executives will find answers to perplexing questions about their role within their organizations. To become emotionally awake is an extraordinary experience; it is like having a veil lifted to realize a truer and more life-affirming view of oneself and the relational world. Consider this your wakeup call.
What others are saying about A View from the Cosmic Mirror ...
"In a word, fascinating. Clearly illustrates the profundity and absurdity of our relationships with others. Takes the reader beyond the polarities of our conflicts with others to a place of renewal and hope for a more unified and peaceful world."
Philip Lichtenberg, Ph.D.
Director of the Gestalt Therapy Institute of Philadelphia and author of Encountering Bigotry: Befriending Projecting Persons in Everyday Life
"To say that the material in this book has fundamentally changed my life for the better is a vast understatement. Gary and George's innovative ideas were able to cut through decades of defenses and self-medication in a matter of hours and help me constructively replace them with a deep sense of passion, peace, humility and empathy."
Bob Kalka, author of The Emotionally Authentic Christian
"A View from the Cosmic Mirror is perceptive, timely and wise. Peppered with clinical vignettes, it encourages us to search our souls, our darkness, and our projections in the quest toward wholeness."
Kate Amatruda, LMFT, author of Sandplay, The Sacred Healing
"Insightful and articulate, A View from the Cosmic Mirror is a rich and enlightening pathway to look more deeply at ourselves and others. Gary and George's inspiring examples and stories help us all."
Peter Lichtenberg, Ph.D.
Director of the Institute of Gerontology at Wayne State University
"The insights that Gary and George offer have been instrumental in helping me to go inside myself and learn what was me, instead of continually looking towards others to see who I was. Along the way, I discovered love for myself and others, like I had never known before."
June McIntyre Georgia, Communications Expert
"I am so on board with what you are saying in A View from the Cosmic Mirror. This book is for every one of us! It explains in plain language some of the most profound mysteries to understanding our deeper self. I learned in new ways how to uncover my own blind spots and become more whole, just by looking more closely at my experiences with others. Thank you for giving me some simple yet profound tools for becoming a more complete person."
Katherine Lewis, Psy.D., Clinical Psychologist
"A View from the Cosmic Mirror is a gem of a book! Drs. Gemmill and Kraus have found a way to help us all see what lies behind our own blind spots. In science, we have learned that the act of observation always affects the objects being observed - there is no such thing as a completely objective observation. This, of course, is an even more fundamental dynamic in people's observations, perceptions and misperceptions of each other. A View from the Cosmic Mirror gives us a method for using our own reactions to others to become more aware of those parts of ourselves of which we are least conscious. This deeper understanding of ourselves leads us into greater wholeness, greater integrity, and greater compassion both for ourselves and each other. Congratulations to these thoughtful authors for finding a way to help us all grow in our understanding of ourselves and the world around us. Kudos!"
Katherine LeVesconte, Psy.D., Clinical Psychologist and Director of Community Services, Oesterlen Services for Youth, Inc.
At Wit's End
Plain Talk on Alzheimer's for Families and Clinicians
What others are saying about At Wit's End ...
“At Wit’s End is a gentle giant. You can pick this book up knowing absolutely nothing about Alzheimer’s disease, and put it down ready to have a conversation with the best of them. And it’s not just about the condition, it’s also about the person with the disease.
Not your typical book on Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Kraus describes the disease in a way that one can understand – including what to expect when going for an evaluation, the diagnosis, living with the disease, changes in mood and perception, treatment, preventive steps, and even better ways to communicate with a person with AD.”
Mark Warner – author of The Complete Guide to Alzheimer’s-Proofing Your Home and In Search of the Alzheimer’s Wanderer.
“Dr. Kraus has written an exceptionally clear and helpful account about Alzheimer’s disease that is accessible for professionals and laymen alike. Need to assess memory and/or behavior change in your older relative or friend? Dr. Kraus provides a plethora of valid tools and clearly explains how to use them. Finally, Dr. Kraus discusses the latest treatments in a concise and helpful manner. The book is illuminating to all who read it.”
Peter Lichtenberg, Ph.D., ABPP, Director of the Institute of Gerontology and Professor of Psychology, Psychiatry, and Behavioral Neurosciences and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Wayne State University.
"The soul comes to the end of its long journey and
naked and alone draws near to the divine"
--- from the film, Fearless
To first hear that your mother or father or anyone you love has Alzheimer's leaves an empty feeling in the pit of your stomach. There are currently more than 4.5 million families in the United States who have received just this kind of news, and I don't think very many of them have really known quite what to do with it. It's very difficult to have a family member or a close friend suffer from an incurable disease. It's hard to know just what to say sometimes, how to help them, how to be with them. For those who know someone with Alzheimer's, this is no exception.
What helps, though, is being willing to risk getting close enough to them to really understand what it means to have Alzheimer's. This takes courage. But if we are willing to do this we make ourselves more available to the person -- we can walk in their shoes, and in doing so, we open ourselves to the possibility of discovering those precious and intimate moments of closeness and connectedness that make our lives truly meaningful. It also makes the help we give that much more effective. With this in mind, I would like to take you on a journey of discovery about Alzheimer's -- to help you get really close to it -- to help you learn about the impact Alzheimer's has on those who suffer from it and the effect it has on families, caregivers, and ourselves.
From a physical point of view, Alzheimer's is a disease characterized by the destruction and degeneration of tissue in the brain. Its toll on the human spirit, however, is even more devastating. Alzheimer's slowly robs its hosts of their memory, their ability to think, and ultimately, the very sense of their own existence. Alzheimer's is a disease for which there is no cure -- only medicines that can slow the progression of its symptoms or postpone its inevitable conclusion. This point of view is well known. From another perspective, however, Alzheimer's is a psychiatric disorder -- a mental illness -- one that triggers a wide array of emotional and behavioral problems. These types of problems can be treated with medicines, but they can also be treated with counseling and psychotherapy, and this perspective is much less well known.
Counseling people with Alzheimer's? Can you do that? For many Alzheimer's victims, the answer is an emphatic "Yes!" Understanding Alzheimer's from a psychological model (and not strictly from a medical one) opens up possibilities for new and expanded ways of relating to those afflicted with this illness. New intervention possibilities like these are not only available to the professional and paraprofessional care provider, but they are also available to family members, friends, or anyone who provides care for someone with this disorder. Everyone in the individual's family and social support system can learn to communicate better with the Alzheimer's sufferer. It takes knowledge and understanding and being able to identify and relate to the problems of Alzheimer's as they arise.
Making the distinction between Alzheimer's as a medical illness and Alzheimer's as a mental disorder is essential. From a medical perspective, Alzheimer's is a disease, like cancer, heart disease, or emphysema. As a disease, it progresses, its symptoms worsen, and eventually, it's fatal. Alzheimer's as a disease implies that it is a medical problem with medical solutions. Increasingly, we hear of "breakthrough research" on the genetic and biochemical links with Alzheimer's. We also hear announcements of new image-scanning methods to better identify the illness or new drugs to treat its accelerating symptoms. These discoveries are important, but regarding what is known and generally applied in the treatment of Alzheimer's, its treatment has essentially been relegated to medical staff prescribing and recommending medical interventions.
In addition to being classified as a medical disease, though, Alzheimer's is a mental illness, just like schizophrenia, depression, or anxiety disorder. Alzheimer's as a mental disorder implies, however, that in addition to medical interventions, there are also psychiatric and psychological treatment interventions available. In addition to high-tech detection methods and new medicines to treat the spread of the disease, the symptoms of Alzheimer's can also be treated through psychological methods that include individual counseling, group interventions, interventions designed to change the person's physical surroundings, and through medicines and educational strategies to improve the person's ability to cope with the emotional distress and cognitive loss. This is the focus of At Wit's End. This book is intended to be a simple, straightforward, and easy-to-read summary of what is currently known about this devastating disorder, as free as possible from technical jargon and impractical detail.
About one in three of us will eventually provide care for someone with Alzheimer's. Given the tremendous amount of care required to safeguard the medical well-being and mental health stability of people with Alzheimer's, At Wit's End is intended to offer new options for clinicians, for family members, and for the many other caregivers who assist, support, and help to ease the impact of this quiet killer. The stress of providing care to a person with Alzheimer's can be considerable, but caring for someone with Alzheimer's can also be extremely rewarding. I have talked with many care providers whose pride in what they are doing far outweighs the challenges with which they struggle. For me, it's been the joy of helping Alzheimer's sufferers and their families hold on to the value they place on living. At Wit's End has been written to enhance your knowledge about the psychiatric and psychological aspects of Alzheimer's as it helps you discover a wealth of effective interventions too infrequently utilized.
There are many excellent books on Alzheimer's -- ones that address the medical, financial, legal, and daily care needs of those afflicted with the disease. There are excellent sources of information on a variety of issues related to managing guardianship, powers of attorney, living wills, life and healthcare insurance, and on making choices about assisted-living facilities, nursing homes, in-home care, and safety preparation of the person's living environment. These are all important areas of concern, and I have tried to provide a wealth of references to help you learn more about them. There has also been a great deal written about the self-preservation needs of family members and other caregivers who have been left with the disheartening and often daunting task of managing the afflicted person's waning competencies. References to these excellent sources of information are also included.
The thrust of At Wit's End, however, is on the psychological life of the Alzheimer's sufferer. It focuses on the whole person and their social, psychological, emotional, physical, and spiritual life. Part I: What is Alzheimer's? covers the basics of the disorder, how it can be distinguished from normal aging, and how it is similar to and different from other medical conditions that mimic its symptoms. Part II: Ways to Measure Alzheimer's deals with a variety of assessment methods that are commonly used to gauge the extent and progression of the disease. These include methods of measuring how the disorder affects changes in functional abilities and how the issue of competence to complete tasks of daily living is viewed by the psychiatric and legal communities.
Part III: Disturbances in Mood and Perception covers the array of emotional and behavioral problems frequently encountered in Alzheimer's -- things like anxiety and agitation, depression, anger and impatience, inappropriate expressions of sexuality, wandering, and other troubling behavioral conditions. In this section, special attention is given to the issue of geriatric depression and its reciprocal relationship with Alzheimer's. Also examined in this section is how Alzheimer's affects distortions in rational thinking and psychotic disturbances in sensory perceptions. Finally, in Part IV: Psychiatric and Psychological Treatment Approaches, I discuss traditional and alternative medicines that are available to treat the disease itself and the emotional and intellectual symptoms commonly stemming from the disorder. I also discuss changes that can be made to the afflicted person's physical surroundings, simple and common-sense ways of enhancing communication, new ways of improving coping abilities, fun learning activities useful in stimulating and maintaining the afflicted person's thinking and emotional stability, and finally, ways of preventing the disease.
My hope is that reading this book will be just the beginning of your continued learning about Alzheimer's. The more you know and share about Alzheimer's as a medical illness and as a mental health disorder, the more the suffering from this devastating disease can be abated.
George Kraus, Ph.D.
"At Wit's End: Plain Talk on Alzheimer's for Families and Clinicians" was recently chosen for the 17th Edition of outstanding University Press Books as selected for Public and Secondary School Libraries. This selection is made by a committee of Librarians from the American Association of School Librarians and the Library Committee of the Public Library Association.
"At Wit's End: Plain Talk on Alzheimer's for Families and Clinicians" appears on the list of suggested textbooks by the American Psychological Association - Division 20: Adult Development and Aging for use by educators offering programs and courses on the psychology of older adults.
If you would like to hear Dr. Kraus talk about "At Wit's End" just click below!
Audio Preview of "At Wit's End" (MP3 format)
To hear Dr. Kraus's radio interview at WYSO, just click below!
WYSO Interview (MP3 format)
If you would like to read newspaper articles about At Wit's End, click below!
Dayton Daily News Article:
Xenia Daily Gazette Article:
Wright State University Professor
Releases Book on Alzheimer's