Unflinchingly honest and enormously affecting, Harkness’s account of how ornithology saved his life is one of the most perceptive literary testimonies of mental illness. With an insightful foreword from Chris Packham, Bird Therapy engages and moves profoundly.
Longlisted for the Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing 2020
'I can't remember the last book I read that I could say with absolute assurance would save lives. But this one will' - Chris Packham
When Joe Harkness suffered a breakdown in 2013, he tried all the things his doctor recommended: medication helped, counselling was enlightening, and mindfulness grounded him. But nothing came close to nature, particularly birds. How had he never noticed such beauty before? Soon, every avian encounter took him one step closer to accepting who he is.
The positive change in Joe's wellbeing was so profound that he started a blog to record his experience. Three years later he has become a spokesperson for the benefits of birdwatching, spreading the word everywhere from Radio 4 to Downing Street.
In this groundbreaking book filled with practical advice, Joe explains the impact that birdwatching had on his life, and invites the reader to discover these extraordinary effects for themselves.
Number of pages: 272
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm
'Succeeds - triumphantly - in articulating with great honesty what it is like to suffer with a mental illness, and in providing strategies for coping' - The Mail on Sunday
'Open, lucid and unpretentious ... Harkness quietly, but very persuasively, makes the case for birdwatching (and wildlife-watching) as a counter to the stresses of modern life, and as a way of connecting with something larger than ourselves' - Bird Watching Magazine
'A life-changing book' - Countryman
'A heartfelt account of one man's return to wellbeing, and his love of nature shines through' - The Herald Scotland
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