Cincinnati psychotherapist Laurie Page-Sharp recently fulfilled a childhood dream by publishing her first book.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, but while it was a big achievement for Page-Sharp, there was little public fanfare around May 10.and release of Conscious adaptation. She simply spread the news on her social networks and organized a small family celebration. Page-Sharp acknowledges that in these shocked post-pandemic days, a low-key celebration is often more than enough. She plans to continue promoting the book through online resources, including a mental health forum she hosted.
Mental health issues have drawn attention due to the rapid and troubling changes many people have experienced in their work environment and at home over the past two years. Page-Sharp herself became familiar with the devastating effects of sudden trauma early on when she experienced the tragedy of her father’s suicide at the age of 20.
“It took me well into my late twenties to really start to heal and to recognize that while I had been extremely functional during that time in my life, I had also been very sick and hadn’t done dealing with the trauma that I had experienced,” Page-Sharp says.
Her goal in writing the book was to share the coping methodology she created as a result of her own grief, in a broad and accessible way, to help as many people as possible.
Page-Sharp says she’s encouraged by the diminished stigma and open conversation that has grown around mental health in recent years. She believes the pandemic has further opened the door to exploring mental health issues together and without guilt.
“I think what the pandemic has done for us is it’s allowed everyone to take a second look and be like, ‘Oh, that’s right, that’s all. the world,'” Page-Sharp notes. “We are all affected by our mental health in different ways, certainly. Not everyone will have a diagnosis, but I think we can all say that after going through this collective trauma together, it’s real.
She cites ineffective coping methods as a huge problem that there are many ways to eradicate, one of which is described in Conscious adaptation: How to Stop Fighting Your Sanity, Face Your Challenges, and Learn a New Way to Cope.
“I really think everyone already expends energy coping, but they don’t necessarily pay attention to how they expend that energy,” Page-Sharp says. “I believe we all do this work all the time. It’s just that we don’t have a framework. We have no language; we don’t have the ability to really talk about it because it’s so abstract.
“How I cope will be different from how you deal with it. How you deal with one situation may be different from how you deal with another situation,” she continues. “And even more so, how effectively or healthily you do in one situation may not be effective or useful for you and another situation, so it’s a very dynamic thing.”
In Conscious Coping, Page-Sharp gives readers the “language” and uses the word “Embrace” as a handy pneumonic device to remind people of the seven stages of coping outlined in the book. Using this tool helps them find the most positive and appropriate methodology for any immediately stressful or chronic issue based on their own personal needs.
Sharp-Page’s book is available on Amazon here.
His online community, Conscious Coping Club, which offers access to forums based on specific interests, can be found here: