In July 2011 PsychOdyssey had the pleasure of attending Dr. Xavier Amador’s presentation at the national NAMI convention in Chicago. An internationally renowned clinical psychologist and family member (whose late brother Henry had schizophrenia), Dr. Amador speaks frequently around the world about the difficulties posed by anosognosia (the lack of insight) for many who have a severe mental illness. As a means to address it, he also speaks about his “LEAP” approach to helping those who lack insight accept the help they need.
A particular highlight of his talk is Amador’s role-play with an audience member dramatizing the effects of anosogosia. In a realistic dialogue to emphasize the alienation wrought by anosognoisa, Amador effectively challenges a married female psychiatrist in the audience that she is indeed not married and not a psychiatrist, underscoring the dual perspective that one person’s reality is another person’s delusion. As part of the role play, Dr. Amador negates the presumed reality of his audience volunteer: “You’re not the person you think you are!” (This particular video passage begins at Minute 40:00 and continues until Minute 48:51.) Amador also models reflective listening and motivational interviewing.
Amador’s 75 minute talk before Scandinavian psychiatrists can be extremely helpful to family members to understanding better their loved one’s circumstances and more effectively to partner in their loved one’s recovery.
See Dr. Amador’s talk here. [Note: The recorded video is not yet compatible with Windows 7. If you find the video unable to start, adjust your browser to “Compatibility View”.]