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Mount Holyoke College psychology professor Gail A. Hornstein has authored a new book, Agnes's Jacket: A Psychologist's Search for the Meanings of Madness. The book offers readers a provocative new perspective on mental illness and recovery based directly on patients' own accounts of their experiences….
Hornstein has long investigated personal testimonies of madness to determine what they can teach us about mental illness and its treatment. During the six years she spent researching and writing Agnes's Jacket, she witnessed hundreds of patients telling their stories in a vibrant underground network of psychiatric "survivor groups" across the United States, the United Kingdom, and Europe. In these peer support groups, patients help one another understand anomalous experiences like hearing voices and develop their own coping strategies to deal with emotional difficulties….