Book Summary and Purpose
At forty-five years old, Hazel’s life is far removed from her dreams and aspirations: She is in a dead-end job with a final written warning hanging over her head; she has been devasted by failed IVF attempts; and she is depressed. Hazel volunteers at an Old Age Home where she meets Louise. Thus, Hazel’s healing journey begins.
Through unconventional therapy sessions with Louise, the dark secrets of Hazel’s past are revealed. Strange dreams and experiences that left Hazel with anxiety and self-doubt become clearer, as she reconnects with her soul. Piece-by-piece, Hazel reclaims her life.
The book has two voices: that of the occupational therapist, Louise, and her client, Hazel. It focuses on Hazel’s psycho-spiritual journey of healing from incest through creative techniques used in her therapy sessions. Hazel’s therapeutic paintings and writings are included, enabling the reader to be a part of the healing journey in a visceral way.
Interspersed with Hazel’s story are Louise’s reflections on Hazel’s progress, linking her experiences to the theory and acting as an objective witness to the therapeutic process. Louise’s chapters end with a reflection encouraging the reader to embark on their own journey of psycho-spiritual growth.
This book is based on true events and can help to provide hope and facilitate the healing of others affected by sexual abuse. It can also assist other therapists in using clients’ intuition as a map for psycho-spiritual healing.
Endorsements and Reviews
Endorsement by Rosemary Crouch
Hazel and Louise’s remarkable account of a very special reciprocal relationship, is a “tour de force.” It is quite unique in its level of deep complex concepts and academic content. Basic to the core of this book is the statement “True healing cannot occur if the spiritual aspect is not incorporated into the healing process.” Spiritual aspects of occupational therapy have been addressed occasionally by theorists and authors over the years but never quite to this depth and extent. Being so very open, with excellent description and intriguing theoretical detail, have made occupational therapy and occupational group therapy in this field come alive. From Hazel’s perspective it shows what good therapy can achieve.
I would like to mention 3 very specific features of this book that stand out for me and need special mention, especially for occupational therapists who would be fortunate enough to read this book.
Firstly, the reader will be aware that Louise’s availability to Hazel was very flexible. She was there for her at the most important times. One of these was when they were locked out of the house and sat on the bench in the garden. Secondly is the concept of intuition, which is very special, and relates to how well an occupational therapist is aware of her/his own reactions and the effect on the therapeutic relationship. Louise questioned herself in the book, but I have experienced her as being an occupational therapist with great insight and intuition, and the spirituality shines out of her. Thirdly one must note the skill with which Louise used activities such as painting, clay modelling and cards to absolute perfection in her intervention. What a wonderful example for us as a profession.
Lastly, I must make mention of Hazel’s courage to be so open and to share her healing process with us. It will have an impact on many people.
Rosemary B Crouch Dr. Professor of Therapeutic Sciences at the University of Witwatersrand. 22/07/2021
The story behind the story …
Book Launch 2021
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