Wheres My Sanity - Media Kit v2



Wheres My Sanity - Media Kit v2
Claudia Sheftel Luiz, Psya
[email protected]
Stories That Change How Americans Get Help
We've all seen those other books that put a bounce in your step on the way back from
the bookstore, or lift you up with anticipation when you download them. The ones that
you are so convinced will rescue you from your confusion, unhappiness and agitation —
that you think: “This is it! This is how I’m going to change my life!”
But then, real life sets in. Maybe after only three chapters, those books completely lose
their luster. And now, you pass by them sitting lifeless on your
bookshelf or unopened on your screen, filling you with dread,
I'm tired of seeing
serving as yet another painful reminder of one more thing you
cannot get to. Because even the best programs for change can fail people beat
themselves up. So I
us. There is a reason for this: you can’t attain more sanity by
trying harder to be a better person. It doesn’t happen by trying to wrote the book to
exercise a more positive outlook, or by working on being happier replace worn out
or more organized, or by letting go more, forgiving, meditating or ideas with
even trying to nourish yourself better. These might all be great
experiences that
ideas. They may even lead to self-improvement. They just don’t
lead to sanity.
Claudia Sheftel Luiz, Psya
[email protected]
Eckhart Tolle has told you to let go of your “pain body” by living in the present moment.
But this text will give you permission to acknowledge when you’re hurting. A while back,
Dr. Phil may have told you to connect with your “authentic self”. But when you’re stuck,
anxious and overwhelmed, well then your authentic self just feels stuck, anxious and
overwhelmed. Countless gurus have told you to always be your “best self”. But you
can’t be your best self when the only self you’ve got is concentrating on all the things
you’ve done wrong. So, your sanity probably isn’t where you’ve been looking so far.
WhereÊs My Sanity? takes you where you need to go before you can make a change.
What leads to sanity, when all reason fails, is this: emotional experiences. Not ideas. But
emotional experiences.
In WhereÊs My Sanity? you’ll read nine short stories that will show you the emotional
experiences that have been most effective for Claudia's patients and herself. Then, you
can start searching for powerful emotional experiences yourself.
WhereÊs My Sanity?
takes you where you
need to go before
you can make a
“Great advice sets up an ideal; a personal "best" to
reach for. There's just one problem: we disappoint
ourselves so much when we can't do better, be better,
try harder. That's why I wrote this book: to show the
reader what an emotional experience is and how to
find it. Because emotional experiences are what really
create change
Claudia Sheftel Luiz, Psya
[email protected]
I wrote this book for a very simple reason: I have noticed that when people come to see
me (and mind you, some of these people are the smartest, most intelligent people you’ll
ever meet) they can’t seem to find a way to behave more sensibly, get their feelings
under control and stop driving themselves crazy. Obviously, that’s why they’re coming to
me for help. But it’s certainly not for lack of knowledge – they know what to do. They
just can’t do it.
Just the other day, in fact, a husband and wife came to see me for couple’s therapy. Both
of them knew perfectly well that soul-mates don’t treat each other unkindly. But it made
absolutely no difference in how they behaved towards each other.
Instead, this couple continued to complain endlessly about each other, hoping that I
would do something to improve the other person. And I do try, as much as possible, to
help people be smarter and more sensible.
„⁄weÊre not just
robots with a button
you can press to
move forward. WeÊre
a bundle of
conflicting ideas,
some of them very
obvious and apparent,
and others of which
we donÊt even
recognize within
But invariably, I come up against some roadblocks. Why? Because
we’re not just robots with a button you can press to move forward.
We’re a bundle of conflicting ideas, some of them very obvious and
apparent, and others of which we don’t even recognize within
ourselves. People say that love is blind, and, in addition to that, we
are blind to ourselves too.
Over the course of 25 years, I have slowly learned what to do about
roadblocks. I have learned that if reason and even the best intentions
fail, there’s something else that helps: emotional experiences.
So after her husband put her down for the fifth time, the wife started
crying and he softened. He felt bad, and he started listening.
Emotions can open us up to new ideas when reason cannot.
Many of our favorite current-day ideas don’t have that power. Like thinking we should be
more grateful or more sensible, healthier or more enlightened. Because these goals
usually become ideas, not emotions. We feel emotional experiences. So they’re the best
avenue to change.
If and when you’re suffering, searching for emotional experiences is probably the best
thing you can do after you have exhausted all the other usual possibilities. I want to show
people what emotional experiences they can search for – like being heard.
Claudia Sheftel Luiz, Psya
[email protected]
After her husband could hear and start to understand her, she started listening to him.
That’s how we grow closer. The experience of being heard, alone, is incredibly
strengthening. For spouses, it’s incredibly hard to do.
It’s been very frustrating for me, seeing how people beat themselves up when they can’t
change. It makes me want to pull my hair out sometimes, seeing how some members of
a family brow beat each other (and themselves) to be more reasonable and healthy, less
crazy. Emotions just don’t work that way. We have learn how to outsmart emotions, not
beat them into shape.
So I wrote “WhereÊs My Sanity?” to show readers how to follow emotions to the kinds
of experiences that have the power to move mountains.
Claudia Sheftel Luiz, Psya
[email protected]
Catrina is stressing herself out and spiraling into depression. How is she going to find
Terrell and Rosalia are completely sick of each other and Terrell has become impotent.
What's going to help them feel intimate again?
John J’s life is completely unraveling. What is it going to take to convince this serial
womanizer that he needs help?
Follow Claudia Luiz into the locked wards of a State Mental Hospital where she reveals
how to supersize your powers of observation.
Claudia Sheftel Luiz, Psya
[email protected]
CHAPTER 5: CLAUDIA LUIZ In this chapter called My Life in Parties, I write about how I’ve changed to illustrate how
change really happens, under the radar, through moments of invisible emotional “aha’s.”
Sylvie is an uncooperative child who doesn't respond to getting rewards or
consequences. But her mother doesn’t want to put her on medication for ADD. What’s
going to help?
CHAPTER 7: ANGELA Angela is a bitter and frustrated office manager, who has already fired two therapists. She
shows no gratitude towards life and zero positivity. What is going to help her be a
happier person?
Mitzi is a self-improvement guru who is stuck in a rut of cliché and sound bites. What is
going to energize, revitalize and add power to her message?
Mercy is an out-of-control-teenager is becoming dangerously alienated from her family.
How are her parents going to help her not to self-destruct?
Claudia Sheftel Luiz, Psya
[email protected]
“With her stories, Dr. Luiz has opened the doors a crack to give us a peek. But, unlike
the 'voyeurism for entertainment' model employed by reality TV shows, this is voyeurism
with a purpose. Her fictional patients are us; the frustrations and disappointments and
anxieties they feel are ours as well...5 out of 5 stars. ”
- Elaine L. Klonicki
“If you want inspiration for how to achieve new emotional experiences, this is the book
to read. 5 out of 5 stars.”
- Dr. Faye Miller
“Two words came to my mind after reading this book: brilliant and inspirational. I didn't
want it to end. It inspired me to reexamine my work as a therapist and to face some
emotional demons of my own. Thank you.”
-Jenny, Brooklyn, NY
“I could not put this book down! It's an exceptional read filled with heart, humility, and
humor. What's most encouraging about the case histories presented here is the courage
and honesty of the author, a psychoanalyst who shares generously from her own life
story as she engages each of her client's unique challenges.”
-A Morgenstern
“In her extraordinarily well-crafted book, Dr. Claudia Luiz delivers high scholarship and a
wisdom that can only be born of a humble seeker. “Where's My Sanity?" was by far the
best work by a practicing psychotherapist that I have read in decades.”
-Dr. David Perry
“This is a new, refreshing voice that speaks with
complete clarity and understanding about the way
people really experience the world.”
Faye Newsome, Chair of the Board of Trustees,
Center for Modern Psychoanalytic Studies, NYC
“Claudia Luiz clears up common misconceptions behind
the common clichés of psychotherapy.”
Peter Kramer, author, Listening to Prozac
“This is an original, unique voice.”
“There are so few good mental health-related works
that address the audience in a real and meaningful
way these days. Claudia Luiz’s work is so readable,
light-handed, and relevant.”
Mara Wagner, PsyD., Core Faculty,
Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis
Claudia Sheftel Luiz, Psya
[email protected]
Q & A
Why did you decide to write this book?
I'm tired of seeing people beat themselves up. I
wrote this book to replace worn out ideas with
experiences that help.
Why now?
So many people are on medication for anxiety and
depression, and totally confused about how to
parent, stay married and find meaningful work. In
“Where’s My Sanity?” people are struggling with all
that -- feeling overwhelmed, doing stupid things, becoming disconnected from
their children and their spouse, and falling into despair. These are the issues of our
day and our current psychology isn’t helping anymore – it’s worn out. We need
something new.
Why do you think the current mental health condition has deteriorated so much in the
Actually, I'm optimistic. I don’t think we’re deteriorating at all; I think we’re getting
better. We are so aware of how much pain we’re in. We’re aware of how
disappointed we are. We’re aware of how frustrated we feel. Aware of how
disconnected we get. Without that awareness – which looks like anxiety and
depression and a “mental health crisis” – we wouldn’t be in a position of
dissatisfaction with old, worn out ideas, and open and receptive to something new.
We’re totally vulnerable and wide open, it’s actually a time that’s full of promise.
How does your book provide a different a solution to the national mental health crisis?
“Where’s My Sanity?” offers controversial stories that go against the American way,
which is to always try harder. This doesn’t work when it comes to emotions. One
of the characters in my book was trying so hard to relax and breathe and not to
get stressed out, she drove herself into a depression. It turns out she needed
something completely different to become at peace with herself. Other characters
in the book are totally disconnected from themselves, from their children or their
spouse and their lives are totally unravelling. The experiences that turned things
around for them show readers how to replace their worn out ideas with
experiences that create change.
What is an emotional experience?
The stressed-out woman in “Where’s My Sanity?” was getting a lot of criticism and
advice from her family and friends because it was so crazy how she was driving
herself into the ground. But that is exactly the problem: having a norm for what’s
Claudia Sheftel Luiz, Psya
[email protected]
“best” and continuing to strive for it is worn out. It doesn’t work anymore. When
this stressed-out character had the experience, with me, of being heard, it opened
the door to being able to relax, take care of herself, be a better mother and feel
more at peace. Being heard is powerful. It unlocks mysteries, creates new
strengths, opens doors … it changes everything. That’s one of the emotional
experiences my book shows to readers.
Who stands to benefit from reading this book?
Anyone who has ever wondered why they can’t get better.
Do other professionals agree that searching for emotional experiences is the way to
I have been completely bowled-over by the degree of recognition my book has
received to date in clinical circles. It is the first book of stories ever to get reviewed
in the Journal of Modern Psychoanalysis. It is being endorsed by the National
Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis and by the Society of Modern
Analysis. One of the founders of the Center for Modern Psychoanalytic Studies in
New York, Dr. Evelyn Liegner, called me to tell me that she thinks it is a very
important book and, since that call, it has been included in the curriculums of four
psychoanalytic institutes in the Northeast. Nationally recognized clinicians and
entire schools of thought are endorsing this book. So I know that the foundation
of the book is sound.
Usually psychoanalysts don’t reveal a lot about themselves. What made you decide to
write about yourself?
I was talked into it by an award winning TV and radio producer, my friend, Keith
Talbot. Of course, I completely balked when he first suggested writing about
myself; as a psychoanalyst I'm trained not to reveal much. I had a thousand reasons
why I couldn't and shouldn't. But I came to trust that he was right when he said
the book had to include accounts of my own emotions, and reveal in depth what’s
been going on inside me while I’m listening to patients, because, after all, it’s a
book about the power of emotional experiences. Without those accounts, the
book would have been too dry. So once I let go, with Keith's help, I could write
these revealing stories. I'm sure that's why the book is receiving acclaim from so
many different circles. I'm glad I was smart enough to trust his advice.
Claudia Sheftel Luiz, Psya
[email protected]
Claudia Sheftel Luiz, PsyaD, Boston Graduate School
of Psychoanalysis, EdM, Harvard University, has been a
psychoanalyst in private practice since 1987. She has
been featured on WCVB TV’s Chronicle and other
news shows, and quoted in the Boston Globe and
other local media.
Dr. Luiz’s clinical consulting experience includes a wide
range of social service agencies in New England,
including: The T. Berry Brazelton Child Study Unit at
Children’s Hospital, The Boston Latin School, The
Office for Children, The Department of Social
Services, The Wes-Ros Park Mental Health Center,
Family Connections of Roslindale, Warmlines,
Metropolitan State Hospital; and others.
Dr. Luiz has been a speaker at The Boston Center for Adult Education, The Boston
College Center for Corporate Education, The Boston Learning Society, Brookline Adult
and Community Education, The Berklee School of Music, The Brookline Adult and
Community Education Center, The Boston Center for Adult Education, The Boston
Learning Society, and New Beginnings, in addition to speaking at many other non-profit
Her awards include first-place winner of the 2006 Phyllis W. Meadow Award for
Excellence in Psychoanalytic Writing and first-place winner of the 2008 Writer’s Digest's
Best Writer award.
Dr. Luiz lives in Westwood, MA, with her husband and two daughters, where she
continues to discover new paths to greater sanity.