Ordinary Life Therapy is anything but ordinary. The work described in this book is relational, collaborative, generative and constructionist. It is also clinically sound and exciting — an extraordinary program.
The ideas presented in this book challenge the foundations of mental illness healthcare as practiced in many places around the world. Carina describes an alternative and creative way of thinking and practicing the healing art of therapy. Rejecting diagnostic categories, drugs and institutional care, Carina shares the stories of several therapists in Sweden who work with and help severely troubled individuals by finding them “ordinary” family homes where they can live for a period of time.
In these “family homes” they are treated with care and respect and over time they adjust to the life of the family. The “clients” are of all ages; they may be suffering from battering, drug addiction, self-mutilations, abandonment, sex abuse, feelings of terror – often problems of long duration. Some have been institutionalized for much of their lives, with diagnoses of psychoses. The attempt is to treat the client not as “an illness” but as a multi-faceted individual who is capable of becoming healthy. The book describes in intimate detail how people whose lives seemed ruined are helped and can re-enter society as full-fledged participants. The book invites the reader to think about what it would mean to work with challenged people from the perspective of Ordinary Life Therapy.
Carina Håkansson is the founder and leader of Family Care Foundation. She is a social worker and a licensed psychotherapist. Her passion is to create networks with people in various ways and in different contexts to help to make life a bit better. She writes books and articles about the importance of using words and language in a humane and dignified way when meeting people in a professional context.