You will get through this

Jun 30, 2024 | Book Recommendations, Featured

This week, we are celebrating the official release of You Will Get Through This: A Mental Health First-Aid Kit; written by my wife Charity O’Reilly, Dr. Julie Radico, and Dr. Nicole Helverson.

Book Cover of "You Will Get Through This: a Mental Health Guide."

Book Cover of “You Will Get Through This: a Mental Health Guide.”

That’s right! In addition to offering the best therapy retreats (in my opinion), my wife is a published author! Having watched the process from concept to having the finished book next to me, I thought I would pull back the curtain to share a little bit about the process of writing. Here’s the inside story that you won’t get anywhere else.

When Julie had a family member going through a hard time, she wished that she could write a book for people about what are helpful v. unhelpful things to say to someone you care about. As someone who’s insecure about new types of social interactions, I love this concept.

Julie enlisted the help of two friends and therapists she had previously worked with, Nicole and my wife Charity, to help her create the book. They set themselves the task of writing a guide for lay readers to navigate mental health issues in a clear, compassionate voice. Charity knew first-hand the need for this type of resource, having worked with 100’s of clients in her career.

There were 2 pillars of the book that were followed from start to finish:

  1. Provide information that is easy-to-read, and backed by the latest evidence-based research.
  2. Be trauma-informed and inclusive, recognizing the diversity of experiences that people have.

The three authors each wrote a few chapters, and submitted them to multiple publishers. They got interest from publisher of “What to Expect when You’re Expecting.” I remember there was a lot of anxiety, because it was everyone’s first experience with publishing contracts. Charity, Julie, and Nicole hired an attorney to review it and make sure everything looked good.

Charity worked all during the summer of 2023 working on her chapters, then reviewing the chapters submitted by Julie and Nicole. She had the company of our foster kitten, Munchkin, to help her through the multi-month marathon of writing and editing.

At the end of the first round, they submitted a manuscript of 160,000 words to the publisher. The publisher asked that the word count be cut in half in order to be marketable as a paper-back book, as Charity, Julie, and Nicole had requested it be, since paperbacks are usually more affordable and they wanted the book to be accessible to everyone. After several more grueling rounds of edits and feedback, including one over Christmas that had to be submitted January 2nd and one Charity had to work on while in Alaska for her dad’s funeral, the book was polished to its final form. The end result is pretty remarkable. The book feels narrative enough to be read from front-to-back, but It’s organized enough to be used as a reference. It’s the 101 Introduction to Mental Health that we never had. It’s been Charity’s dream to be an author since she was a little girl sharing her stories with her dad, and I could not be more proud of her first book.

Sorry if I am meandering like a food blogger. In any case, here is what you can expect from You Will Get Through This:

The book has 5 major sections:

  1. Mental Health
  2. Social Health
  3. Sexual Health
  4. Physical Health
  5. Getting Support

I want to take a minute to explain why are therapists writing about physical and sexual health. We experience life through our bodies; not separate from them. This chapter addresses 1) how our bodies make us feel, 2) how we feel about our bodies, and 3) how our feelings affect our bodies. The millennia-old indifference to our beautiful bodies affects our mental health daily. I hope that through reading this book, readers will better understand that mental health does not fit in a neat little box.

The chapters of the book also have a consistent organization. I’ve listed them below, with a little commentary)

  1. There is a brief description of the issue
    This section answers if this chapter is relevant to the reader.
  2. What Professional Help Might Look Like
    Some people are best served by caring, qualified professionals. Here’s what to look for.
  3. Strategies to try
    These are strategies that everyone can use, even if professional care is unavailable or just not what you’re looking for.
  4. Barriers to healing or recovery
    If healing was easy, we wouldn’t need a book. If these frustrations have happened to you, you aren’t alone or crazy.
  5. How to communicate about the issue.
    These are helpful ways to talk about an issue; both if you are experiencing the issue; or are the loved one of someone who is experiencing it- including if the loved one is a child.
  6. What coping with the issue looks like in real life
    I resonate with stories more than a clinical checklist. It’s probably why I was only diagnosed with ADHD at 28 years old, even though I was a Psychology major. 🙂
  7. Additional Resources
    The book is a concise introduction to the issues. The authors want to give visibility to authors and communities who are specializing in those issues.

I was impressed they fit so many topics into the same format. One of the nice things about the format: it organizes chapters so that information is easy to find. I also think the organization shows their community to creating an inclusive book; where each chapter focuses on multiple audiences. There are even “Kid-Friendly Tips” in every chapter, to make the information as accessible as possible.

You can order You Will Get Through This at the following links:

  1. Bookshop.org (Recommended because it’s the online platform that shares revenue with local book sellers. We learned a lot from the Frenchtown Bookshop through this process.)
  2. Books a Million
  3. Barnes and Noble
  4. Walmart
  5. Amazon

If you would like to learn about the authors, I have included links to their websites.

  • Charity O’Reilly
    Charity provides therapy intensives in a retreat setting, using Internal Family Systems (IFS) and EMDR. Clients can stay at our cottage homestead, on the traditional land of the Lenape, along the Delaware river.
  • Dr Julie Radico
    Julie is passionate about systemic change and personal healing. She offers therapy as well as career coaching for women in the medical workforce. She is also a valued speaker and consultant for for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA); female leadership; and Organizational Development.
  • Dr. Nicole Helverson
    Nicole offers therapy using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and mindfulness techniques to assist your healing journey. She specializes in Eating Disorders, Anxiety, and Grief.

 

 

 

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Trauma Therapist Charity O-Reilly

Hi, I’m Charity, a trauma therapist who is most often found reading with a cozy cup of tea on the couch.

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