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Review of "Unstuck"

By James S. Gordon
Penguin, 2008
Review by A. Ch. F. Weizmann, Ph.D. on Aug 11th 2009

James Gordon, M.D. is a psychiatrist who founded and directs the "Center for Mind-Body Medicine" in Washington, D.C. and also is Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Family Medicine at the Georgetown University School of Medicine. His long clinical experience with patients suffering from Depression and other mood disorders, his books and papers in scientific journals and in newspapers are recognized as an essential reference in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy.

His new book Unstuck is in fact a basic and important book written with scientific background but with a pleasurable technique that everyman could read and understand, above all the people suffering from depression. Unstuck is enough filled with several examples of patients of Gordon and their clinical (and human) accounts are also like a "mirror" to the self-understanding and the objective approach to this  state of the human persona. Gordon didn't use the word "sickness" and, in this sense, his judgment about the antidepressants and other connected medicaments is highly preventive and conceivably negative. He himself by and large didn't make use of antidepressants with his patients suffering from some kind of mood disorder. Certainly his opinion cannot be an "absolute scientific truth" but, at least, is very significant.

Gordon thinks that a variety of kinds of psychological guidance with other approaches reduces the emotional pain in many people:

  • Exercise.
  • Meditation.
  • Guided imagery.
  • Self-expression through words, drawings, and movement.
  • Yoga.
  • Nutrition and supplements.
  • Acupuncture and herbal therapies.
  • A variety of spiritual practices.

Gordon delineates his program (the "Seven Stage Journey out of Depression") and offers a very useful and handy guide for the daily life and the inner alternative to live happily with Hope and not for ever and a day with Depression (and interrelated mood states like sadness, anger, etc).Each chapter concludes with a detailed "Prescription for Self-Care". Unstuck is a well recommended book for those who know and agree to the therapy of Gordon and his applicable integrative medicine.

The long experience of Gordon in the fields of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy is, in some way, condensed in his new book that surely could help and support to many people suffering from mental and psychosomatic pain. In my personal opinion, Gordon's wide-ranging conception of Medicine in general and of Psychiatry and Mental Health in particular are highly humanistic and holistically handling towards the worth of the human person and his/her sometimes unknowable potential and well-to-do inner life and time.

In his standpoint Gordon, according to his rich and long experience as a psychiatrist and a psychotherapist, integrates the somatic, psychological and spiritual levels of the human person and more concrete of the patient stressed by his/her depression or mood problem. Therefore he avoids wisely any kind of reduction or "fundamentalism": biological, psychological, religious, etc.

Indeed it is an excellent and advisable book and many people suffering from Depression or interested to know how to help friendly to suffering fellows (and in general to anyone who "fells stuck") will read with great pleasure and concern.

This book presents also to the reader an ordained catalog of resources very fine presented and detailed that could be very valuable (with the corresponding websites, etc.) to all of us.


 © 2009 A.Ch.F. Weizmann


A.Ch.F. Weizmann, Ph.D., Haifa University

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