Book Reviews

Book Trade Reviews

Kirkus Reviews (starred review) “The text is written clearly enough to engage lay readers while still providing the thoroughness and documentation demanded by professionals. They cite more than 300 references, mainly scientific journals and academic books, but they also draw from popular media to keep the discussion relevant and down-to-earth. Clear figures, photos and illustrations; a glossary; and a list of supplemental resources make the book even more user-friendly. An eye-opener for anyone concerned about concussion—which the authors persuasively argue should include everyone.”
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BlueInk Review (starred review) “Conquering Concussion is thorough yet highly readable — rich with explanatory and well-documented details and illustrations that enlighten without overwhelming. It includes a wealth of powerful case histories successes as well as easily understood chapters on all aspects of what happens in brain injury, how it is diagnosed, long-term consequences, and what can help toward its repair. Conquering Concussion explains how concussions lead to physical and emotional problems that sometimes don’t respond to treatments such as medications and traditional rehabilitation programs. Victims of traumatic brain injury often grapple with crippling life challenges years after their initial trauma. Overall, this impressively penned primer will be a valuable find for a broad audience of professionals, caretakers and those troubled by the consequences of brain trauma who seek to improve their well-being.”
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Book Reviews

Carole P. Jennings, PH.D., RN, FAAN “Dr. Esty’s book is a must read for medical and psychiatric practitioners, parents, and victims of concussion. Until this book few writers have made such a dramatic correlation between Post Concussion Syndrome (PCS) and conditions like Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) — alone or combined with hyperactivity (ADHD) — and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Enhanced brain-imaging and Neurofeedback therapy based on brain mapping have greatly improved both function and life satisfaction. The protocol offers hopeful futures for numerous individuals with misdiagnosed or underdiagnosed brain trauma.”

Devin Starlanyl, Author, Healing through Trigger Point Therapy: A Guide to Fibromyalgia, Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction “Gripping! So interesting it feels like a novel. I’m learning more about concussion from your book than I did in medical school. Reading the eloquent section “When More is Needed” made me wish there were a way to engrave this information on the brains of care providers who don’t really provide care. It isn’t often that a book on such a serious topic is so well-written for the average reader, and I believe that it will raise the awareness of how common brain damage is. We just didn’t know what to look for or what to do about it. Until now.”

Forest Tennant, MD, DrPH, Editor in Chief of Practical Pain Management “Terrific! It is a “”must read”” for pain practitioners.”

Barb Dively, Excecutive Director, Acquired Brain Injury Network Of Pennsylvania “ Magnificent! The best material on brain injury that I have come across.”

James A. Cox, Editor, Midwest Book Review “Conquering Concussion is highly recommended for community and academic Library Health & Medicine reference collections in general, and to the attention of non-specialist general readers with an interest in the problems and treatment issues of and for head injuries in particular.”

Gillian Hotz, PhD, Director KiDZ Neuroscience Center, Director Concussion Program. University of Miami Miller School of Medicine “This book is an unbelievable resource. The history chapter is so interesting, with details of injuries from Henry the 8th, to Elvis. Their description chapters of concussion and symptoms and chapter on Cases creates a one stop resource about all aspects regarding concussion.”

Richard P. Brown, MD Associate Clinical Professor in Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. “When it comes to recognition of Neurotherapy as a valuable treatment for concussion, the medical profession has had a gaping blind spot. Hopefully, Conquering Concussion, by Dr. Esty and C. M. Shifflett, will focus attention on the demonstrated benefits of Neurotherapy in treating concussion and brain injury. Well-written for a broad audience, this book brings together current scientific and clinical information that will benefit consumers and clinicians.”

Patricia L. Gerbarg, MD, Associate Clinical Professor in Psychiatry, New York Medical College “Recent revelations about the long-term consequences of concussion, show that the traditional medical approach of just allowing time to heal is woefully inadequate. Conquering Concussion, by Dr. Esty and C. M. Shifflett, is a wake-up call to the healthcare professions regarding the need for active treatments, such as Neurotherapy, that improve brain recovery. In presenting the many facets of concussion, this book will contribute to broader discussions regarding the impact of head injury during childhood, sports activities, accidents, and military service. Clearly written with many interesting case examples, Conquering Concussion shows how Neurotherapy can help relieve or resolve a wide range of psychological and neurological problems with minimal adverse effects. ”

Michael Lewis, MD, MPH, MBA, FACPM Colonel (Retired), U.S. Army Medical Corps “Conventional medicine is extremely effective handling the acute medical care, TBI included. However, once the acute phase is over and the hard work of rehabilitation and dealing the chronic aspects of post-concussion syndrome begins, our medical system fails miserably. Dr. Esty’s book thoroughly explains, at a very readable level, what happens to the brain when injured. More importantly, it explores non-pharmaceutical therapies that are not just a reasonable option; they are a necessity to battle the growing epidemic we face today. This book should be the primer for anyone wanting to understand the issues surrounding concussion and what could be done if our society really took TBI as seriously as it should. ”

Marty Wuttke “The population of people with traumatic brain injury has had little resources and places to turn for information regarding their challenges. Mary Lee Esty and C. M. Shifflett have put together a significant book that is remarkably informative giving insight into the many facets around brain injury and recovery. My experience has been that when patients and loved ones begin to recognize and understand all the issues and symptoms around head injury they can begin to make real steps forward and find the help they need. This book will serve not only TBI recovering community but will be invaluable to the professional community as well. I am so pleased they have undertaken this timely topic and I am sure this will have a tremendous impact on all those who read it and whose lives are touched directly or indirectly by brain injury.”

Andrea Weisman, PhD. Juvenile and Corrections Mental Health Consultant “Dr. Esty and her colleague Ms. Shifflett have written a most valuable resource for both professionals and lay readers dealing with the consequences of traumatic brain injury. Their book “Conquering Concussion: Healing TBI Symptoms With Neurofeedback and Without Drugs” lays important foundation for the prevalence of and most effective treatments for TBI. As a correctional mental health professional for 30 years, I know all too well the misdiagnoses of youth and adults with various psychiatric disorders with underlying TBI. Treatment with psychotropic medication is not only ineffective, it is contraindicated. Indeed, in recognition of the growing awareness of the role TBI may have with juveniles accused of crimes and held in detention facilities, newly developed Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiatives (by the Annie E. Casey Foundation) requires all newly admitted detainees be screened and treated for TBI. Dr. Esty’s work is an important contribution to the field and should be read by all professionals and lay people whose patients or family members are impacted by TBI. ”

Patty Whelpley “I wish I had this book back when we were struggling with my daughter’s concussion! I was sadly disappointed at how far behind some of the “top” hospitals and doctors were about concussions and post-concussive syndrome. This book proves that even a “small” concussion can have long term effects and that the symptoms can vary widely. Most importantly, this tells how the Flexyx treatment that abruptly ended our six months of misery can help many people as they struggle with concussions, learning issues and emotional traumas. This technology has turned my daughter’s life around and hopefully this book will turn the medical system’s myopia around. If we’re ever faced with an ER visit for a concussion again, I think I’ll carry a couple copies around in my purse and give them away to the uninformed. ”

Katherine Thorn, LPC “Informative and inspiring. As a psychotherapist, I have been trained to look at mental health issues through a narrow lens but what I see as depression or attention issues could be more complicated. Now I understand when talk therapy can be helpful and when something more may be needed. I loved the case studies as they made the symptoms more real and memorable. A great job of making complex ideas clear and accessible.”

Stephen Larsen, Ph.D.BCN, Psychology Prof. Emeritus (SUNY), “It doesn’t matter whether you are a Traumatic Brain Injuy (TBI) sufferer, family member of such a person, or a medical expert such as a neurologist, neuropsychologist or psychiatrist, this is the Traumatic Brain Injury/Concussion book you’ve been waiting for. Dr. Mary Lee Esty is not only one of the foremost theorists and scholars in the field, she also carries a formidable reputation as a TBI therapist using non-invasive techniques such as biofeedback and neurofeedback. Though practitioners are not supposed to say they healed any illness or condition, I believe the dozens, if not hundreds of patients who have been treated by Dr. Esty say they themselves have been healed of their distressing symptoms and limitations.

Dr. Mary Lee Esty has served on panels that I chaired at professional conferences, and contributed excellent chapters to books that I have published (The Healing Power of Neurofeedback [2006] and The Neurofeedback Solution [2012]). She is a thorough researcher, a professionally well-regarded and loved clinician. I could hardly put down this book once I started to read it. The historical cases are fascinating and revelatory, and explain an awful lot of bizarre behavior from historically significant people from Henry VIII to Howard Hughes, but they merely set the stage for the detailed discussion that follow on the complex symptomatology of head injury, what to look for in sufferers, and how to help their complex and bewildering symptoms that seem to fool most health-care professionals. This book should be required reading for anyone from nurses to ER docs, to neurosurgeons! Highly recommended!”

Martha Lappin, Ph.D., Action Research and Technical Solutions “A wonderful book full of examples, quotes, references to characters in history, books and movies. Educates in an engaging manner, revealing the multiple ways, some subtle but devastating, others bizarre and disconcerting that the symptoms of TBI can manifest themselves in everyday life. With such understanding comes compassion for all those whose ability to think, feel, act, and communicate is impaired and with compassion comes a renewed commitment to continue the search for help for the victims and families affected by TBI.”

Laurie Leitch, PhD, Co-founder, Threshold GlobalWorks “Not only does this compelling book make an important contribution to the field of traumatic brain injury but it is riveting in the stories and case studies it presents. The book highlights how essential it is for those of us who are clinicians to include a history of head injuries in our intake interviews, something many psychotherapists don’t do and many clients don’t think to mention. The chapter on war trauma offers renewed hope that emerging tools like neurofeedback can restore quality of life and dignity to our nations’ brave troops and veterans suffering the effects of blast injury, post-concussive syndrome, and PTSD.”

Karen Schultheis, Ph.D. Psychologist “Brain injury can ruin lives. Books which synthesize information about symptoms, diagnosis and treatment simply have not been available. Dr. Esty’s extensive clinical and research experience provide the basis for this exposition of brain injury symptoms, diagnostics, and treatments. C.M. Shifflett has organized and synthesized this information into a very readable format. The areas of prevention, symptom identification, and treatment of brain injury are carefully and thoroughly covered. Patients, families and health care professionals finally have a much needed resource.”

Thom Hartmann, author of 25 books, and nationally-syndicated TV and Radio personality “If you’ve ever suffered a concussion/head injury, or worked as a physician or therapist with those who have, you know how important this book really is! The book is not only well-researched, but the writing is accessible, clear, and to the point.”

Debi Gale, MS, CCC-SLP, CBIS “This book is fast-moving and engaging, remarkable for such technical, detailed information. It will be used by professionals and students to expand their perspectives, and by patients and families to gain an understanding of the possibilities.”

Eric Mitchell, Esq. Washington, D.C. “Plaintiffs’ lawyers know that a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) case presents a far greater challenge in terms of difficulty in proof and risk than the severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) case. This work gives Plaintiffs’ lawyers what they need to meet that challenge “head-on” to dispel the myths associated with MTBI. It’s a must for Plaintiffs’ lawyers.”

Tom, U.S. Marine, (Ret.) “This book is a valuable reference for anyone who has a relative, friend, employee, or patient who has suffered a concussion. It provides an easy-to-read and concise summary of everything a layperson needs to know in order to recognize TBI and to understand the lifelong and debilitating consequences this injury can have. It brings attention to a medical issue that has been traditionally downplayed by society, and advocates for neurofeedback, an easily administered and noninvasive treatment with effective and proven results. It is timely and relevant, considering that we are now engaged in the longest war in US history in which TBI is the signature injury, and becoming more aware of the danger for potential TBI at all levels of athletic competition.”

E. James Lieberman, M.D., M.P.H., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Emeritus, George Washington University School of Medicine “This book is impressive for a rare combination of expertise and readability. The historical perspective and excellent illustrations, both light and serious, make this as approachable as a serious medical book can be. Many M.D.s may not know the limits of the MRI, and may not realize the importance of head injury in psychiatry as well as neurology. Many people who know the term “biofeedback” will gain new understanding here. Our brains need to be in protective custody. Every custodian is different; all can benefit from this wonderful resource.”

Katy Hollis “As the mother of a son who suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury at age 3 and then two more concussions, Dr. Esty’s book gives insight into the aftermath of a concussion that most medical staff fail to acknowledge. The symptoms from a concussion often go beyond the anticipated headache and Dr. Esty’s book validates the struggles we had with our son’s recovery.”

John Spencer, PhD. Neuropsychologist. Author: Complementary Alternative Medicine: An Evidence-Based Approach “This is a fascinating and well-written book on an extremely relevant topic for todays ‘society—concussion and its aftermath. The entire NFL coaching staff and players should read and learn from it. One of its strengths is the broad appeal made to the lay public and health professionals both of whom will become educated. Each chapter is well organized and thoughtful comments are made about the impact of concussion and other head injuries as they impact behavior and everyday life. A complete and interesting history is presented of head injury followed by a useful, albeit brief, explanation of the brain and its inner workings from several important vantage points as it works to direct interactions with the body. Useful individual clinical examples are provided and help the reader to see the huge impact that bio and neuro feedback as therapies have played in alleviating many of the symptoms of traumatic brain injury. A very useful chapter on prevention of head injury should not be over looked. I liked and enjoyed reading this book. I would urge anyone interested in the clinical implementation of neurofeedback therapies, used in addition to medicine or as a stand- alone, with the brain injured patient to add it to their library.”