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The Recovery Letters


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements. Introduction: Why I Started The Recovery Letters, James Withey. Introduction: Writing Letters: A Subtle Therapy, Olivia Sagan. Letters. Afterword: There's Life in Letters, G. Thomas Couser.

Promotional Information

An anthology of inspirational, heartfelt letters written by people recovering from depression addressed to those who are currently affected by it

About the Author

James Withey is a trained counsellor who worked in social care for 20 years. In 2011, James was diagnosed with clinical depression, attempted suicide and spent time in psychiatric hospital and crisis services where he developed the idea for The Recovery Letters. James writes and speaks publicly about depression and has twice featured on BBC Radio 4's 'All in the Mind' programme. Olivia Sagan is Head of Psychology & Sociology at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh. A chartered psychologist and former counsellor Olivia is the author of Narratives of Art Practice and Mental Wellbeing: Reparation and Connection (Routledge 2014) and Narratives of Loneliness: Multidisciplinary perspectives from the 21st Century (Routledge, 2017).


Writing or reading a letter strikes at the sense of isolation which is at the root of despair. Read this book, buy it for others, it's rare and powerful medication. -- Gwyneth Lewis, author of Sunbathing in the Rain: A Cheerful Book about Depression
This book contains messages of hope from the dark side, an antidote of rational belief to fight the lack of faith all depressives feel. The Recovery Letters, I have no doubt, has the power to save lives. -- Tim Lott, journalist and author
These letters are full of friendship and intimacy. It is possible to mend your way out of depression, and, believe me, you'll be all the better for it: more thoughtful, more receptive, and more at peace. -- Dr Neel Burton, author of Growing from Depression
I found the letters so helpful when I was ill; one of the few things that reached me across the void. -- Charlotte Garrett, Research Psychologist
Powerful letters from people who've been there who know from experience that you won't always feel this way. Just one letter that really speaks to you could make a difference. -- Claudia Hammond, broadcaster and writer
Moving, beautiful in places and valuable: in a world in which effective treatment for the mentally ill remains as elusive as ever, this book has something rather important to offer. More than anything, the depression sufferer wants reassurance that recovery is possible. These letters from fellow travellers show that it is not just possible, but probable, that you are not alone, that others have been here, survived, recovered, and rejoined their lives. Their message: you can do the same. -- Mark Rice-Oxley, author of Underneath the Lemon Tree: A Memoir of Depression and Recovery
The people writing these letters describe depression in a way that only survivors can. The words are authentic and will give hope and encouragement to those who read them. -- Douglas Bloch M.A., author of Healing From Depression: 12 Weeks to a Better Mood

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