Books reviewed by James Woodward

The individual at the centre

Recovery from Depression Using the Narrative Approach, Damien RidgeRecovery from Depression Using the Narrative Approach, Damien Ridge. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2008, 208pp, pbk, £18.99

All of us have had, at some stage or another in our lives, the experience of being able to share aspects of our narrative.  Something very profound takes place when we tell our stories and others are prepared to listen to them. 

In this remarkable and radical book Damien Ridge shows us how to understand both the nature of depression and its powerful shaping force in people’s lives.  He allows those clients he has worked with to explore the process of recovery from depression.  As such, the book is a challenge to the medicalisation of human dis-ease through pharmaceuticals.  What Ridge does is to put the individual at the centre of the professional’s perspective and explores ways in which self-management can help individuals both to cope with and overcome their depression.

The book is also a challenge to those of us who expect not to take responsibility for the process of recovery, taking some comfort in the assumption that the professional can do all of the work.

This book opened new horizons to the area of depression and is an important edition to the literature on both depression and pastoral care.

James Woodward