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How I Rescued My Brain


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As a forensic psychologist, David Roland often saw the toughest, most heartbreaking cases. The emotional trauma had begun to take its toll - and then the global financial crisis hit, leaving his family facing financial ruin.

About the Author

David Roland has a PhD in clinical psychology, and has trained in neuropsychological assessment and studied interpersonal neurobiology online with professor Daniel Siegel (author of Mindsight). David is an honorary associate with the School of Medicine at the University of Sydney, a member of the Australian Psychological Society, and a founder of the Australian branch of the Compassionate Mind Foundation. His first book was The Confident Performer (1998).


`[How I Rescued My Brain] explores the complexities of the mind, consciousness and neuroscience in an accessible way. A heart-rendering story of resilience and determination, it is an inspirational read and memorable account of one man's courageous and life-changing journey towards emotional health.' -- Patricia Merrick * The Lady *

`A clear affirmation of the importance of mindfulness and compassion for healing ... enlightening and inspiring. Beautifully demonstrates that healing is more than the absence of injury. There is hope for everyone affected by stroke: recovery is possible.'

-- Kate Richards, author of Madness

`David Roland describes the breakdown of his mental world, a world he slowly pieces back together, with the candor of a man observing his brain from the inside. The narrative style is studded with rich descriptions of emotion and intuition unbounded by the constraints we normally take for granted. The result is an intimate portrayal of a brain uniquely injured and the courage and resilience we all require to make the best of what we have.'

-- Marc Lewis, author of Memoirs of an Addicted Brain

`Engrossing from the first page ... This is the inside story of a brain injury. A fascinating insight into what makes us who we are, how we think and what creates the way we operate in the world.'

-- Alan Close, author of Before You Met Me

`This is an account of the incredible strength and sheer determination to overcome the odds ... Inspiring.'

-- Jane McKinley * National Stroke Foundation *

`[An] extraordinary book ... Anyone who has had any experience of mental illness, trauma or brain injury will find great hope in learning from this book about the resilience of our brains.'

-- Maryanne Hyde * Good Reading Magazine *

`[L]ays bare the disorienting realities of brain injury ... [Roland's] exploration of the subjective feel of cognitive impairment is illuminating ... He is an acute observer with an appealing voice.'

-- Nick Haslam * Australian Book Review *

`Roland's breadth of research is ambitious [and] what he offers is accessible, often moving and always personal ... How I Rescued My Brain is more than just one man's story of remarkable cognitive recovery: Roland offers an impressive translation of psychology and neuroscience for a lay audience. This thoughtful book works to reframe our view of how minds work more broadly, and how we come to terms with who we are ... Emotionally intelligent and engaging.'

-- Stella Charls * Readings *

`Nearly 800,000 people worldwide suffer strokes every year and Roland's memoir will be valuable to them ... It also has the potential to alter attitudes to disability more generally. Roland captures its isolating effects and demonstrates how distressing it is to have to justify your suffering, as incapacity benefit claimants are increasingly forced to today. As he says, "I am not imagining my difficulties; they are real."'

-- Max Liu * The Independent *

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