Respark: Igniting Hope and Joy After Trauma and Depression

Author(s) : Graham Music

Respark: Igniting Hope and Joy After Trauma and Depression

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How can we respark joy and hope after despondency, numbness or trauma? Acclaimed psychotherapist and trauma expert, Graham Music, in his sixth book, distils decades of experience to deliver a roadmap for reigniting zest and passion in troubled adults and children.

In these testing times many feel unmotivated and have lost their mojo. Some are listless, retreating inwards after trauma or loneliness, some become addicted to screens or meaningless activities, and many have lost passion in the face of life's challenges.

Through fascinating tales from the consulting room and daily life, this book provides a ground-breaking model to regenerate hope. Music weaves together cutting-edge science, profound personal stories, therapeutic wisdom, and deep humanity. He outlines exactly how to understand and heal from a wide range of emotionally blunted states such as dissociation, depression, or helplessness.

We hear about lives regenerated from "desparked" lifeless unenergized states, such as addiction, depression, trauma and learned helplessness. In each story the characters come alive on the page as we witness hope-inducing transformations, and find out just what's needed to reboot and respark emotional and bodily aliveness.

We also hear deeply personal stories of the author's own life, the ways in which he shut-down his life-force in the face of tough experiences, and how he was able to, as he writes, reset, reboot and re-find his spark. This book is unique in addressing the subjects of energy, lifeforce and the lack of it in emotional flatness and dulled down states. We learn new theories about how people can turn down danger signals, 'safen', become 'nervous system whisperers', reset and reboot and then respark into fuller lives.

Never dull, the writing is sparkling, full of humanity, honesty and humour, and most importantly, of hope, and shows us how we can make life-changing changes to reclaim our potential for living fuller lives.

This book is needed more than ever at this moment. Whether you are a therapist, a professional, a parent, or anyone looking to find personal inspiration, RESPARK offers a captivating and hope-filled journey, showing how any of us can rediscover the vitality and desire to live richer lives.

Reviews and Endorsements

“This book is absolutely brilliant, beautifully written, with a fantastic central metaphor about sparking and those who have lost or lack spark.” - Dr Karen Treisman MBE – TedX speaker, trauma expert and author.

“This wonderful book tackles a very important but neglected subject, and does so beautifully, with clarity, and very helpfully for the puzzled clinician or layperson.” - Dr Anne Alvarez – Consultant Psychotherapist, Tavistock Clinic; author of Live Company and The Thinking Heart

“This is an important subject, and Graham Music writes about it with style, combining wonderful clinical stories with new science and compelling autobiographical touches, while demonstrating a self-awareness and ability to learn from mistakes that is rare in psychotherapy writing.”
- Sue Gerhardt – psychotherapist, author of bestselling books Why Love Matters and The Selfish Society

“This fascinating book, by one of the world’s leading exponents of the use of attachment theory in therapy, explores why children and adults ‘lose their spark’ and how to help them rekindle it. This very accessible book of personal reflections and years of hard-gained therapeutic wisdom will be invaluable to anyone working with these issues.” - Professor Paul Gilbert OBE – Founder of Compassion Focused Therapy; and author.

Respark is a compelling synthesis of Graham Music’s curious lively mind. His ventures into neuroscience, psychoanalysis, developmental psychology, and embodiment have produced a remarkable model to reconceptualise and treat trauma and depression. At a time when record numbers suffer with poor mental health, this book brings hope. Respark cements Graham Music’s place as one of the most innovative and influential psychotherapists of his generation.” - Jane O’Rourke – Founder MINDinMIND; Child, Adolescent, and Family Psychotherapist.

Respark is engaging, informative, and moving. It depicts the many ways that trauma can leave people depressed, dulled, and desparked. As importantly, it illuminates the life-giving process of resparking. At the heart of Respark is Graham Music’s deep knowledge of trauma, powerful imagery, and poignant life stories. .” - , PhD – author Understanding and Healing Emotional Trauma

About the Author(s)

Graham Music is a Consultant Child Psychotherapist and Associate Clinical Director at the Tavistock Clinic in London. His main clinical interests are in developing services in community settings such as schools, and in working with children who are Looked after or adopted, and the adults in their lives. He teaches on many courses and trainings in Britain, and abroad, is on the editorial board of the child psychotherapy journal and has published particularly on the interface of developmental research and therapeutic practice. He is also an adult psychotherapist working in private practice.

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Customer Reviews

Our customers have given this title an average rating of 5 out of 5 from 2 review(s), add your own review for this title.

Dr Carole Ulanowsky on 06/04/2022 19:41:18

Rating1Rating2Rating3Rating4Rating5 (5 out of 5)

In this erudite publication the author is never far away from what he writes, both as therapist and as a person when developing his underpinning theme of emotional honesty and vitality. ‘Sparking’ is an inspired metaphor which Music works into his discussion with consummate skill and sensitivity.

But real sparking and connection is only possible when we feel ‘safe’; whereas a hinterland of negative experience in any young life – especially in first connection with the parent – can generate insecurity, even trauma, and fear of moving forward. Music explores, through casework, a range of unhappy, ‘damped down’ emotional states, when individual road maps for ‘re-sparking’ are urgently required. With impressive honesty Music first relates his own period of emotional shut-down and how, for him, as for others, engagement with personal pain is essential, before a process of ‘resetting’, ‘rebooting’ and ‘re-sparking’ can happen. Then, drawing further on insights gained from work with clients, Music develops a discussion of consummate sensitivity. This is quality writing, supported and enriched by a range of carefully selected academic references, including from neuroscience - but always with a light touch.

Throughout, the author offers convincing evidence of how careful patient therapy can build a safe foundation for individuals to ‘re-spark’ and discover strategies for moving on. In fact, it is through emotional engagement with one’s personal pain, the author argues, which can build a foundation for resilience, and for empathy too, enabling one to respond to the pain of others. What could be better?

Music extends his discussion when he considers how whole groups of people can become estranged from themselves and from others in his analysis of the public response to the COVID pandemic – the fear, the shutting down, and the numbness. This masterly discussion of how our public consciousness has become infiltrated by anxiety and mistrust is one of the best I have encountered.

Who would benefit from reading RESPARK? Certainly, professionals working in Psycho-therapeutic/Mental Health services would undoubtedly find a rich store of interest and instruction. Yet, I would urge anyone interested in achieving the ‘strong backs, soft fronts, and wild hearts’ of emotional health and wellbeing to get hold of RESPARK. It will set you on your way to understanding how this can be achieved.



Rebecca Bourhill on 01/02/2022 08:53:00

Rating1Rating2Rating3Rating4Rating5 (5 out of 5)

A book to remember and keep close-at-hand. It hooked me in and I could not put it down. A solid 5 days of reading. In this book, Respark, Graham takes you on a journey of his personal experiences as well as of those that have been in therapy with him. In each chapter there is a description of the topic at hand followed by an example from his repertoire of clients he has worked with. Telling the story of clients that have gone through the stages of being ‘unsparked’ to reigniting the spark within. Most often one that took me on a rollercoaster of emotions and some of which I could personally relate to. And I am sure you might be able to relate to some yourself.

The topics covered are based on the concept of ‘Sparking’ after various different types of Traumas. The terminology that is used in the book is explained throughout which makes it readable for both the general public, people in the health profession, psychologists and everyone in between. Graham uses references to other research publications and psychologists in order to get the point across and give different perspectives and explanations. On a few occasions metaphors are used to explain concepts, creating a clearer picture.

A highly recommended book for those wanting to expand their toolkit on Resparking and for those that are psychologists a useful book to give examples of how Resparking might occur in clinical practice.

The book describes creating a soft front, hard back and a wild heart which is essential to have a zest for life and spark. The final chapter, the Epilogue brings the book together and truly finishes off the book in a well rounded way.

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