Find out the latest indie author news. For FREE.


Pamela Verner
Breathing Into the Light
Pam struggled for many years on the sharp edges of suicide, grieving over betrayals and loss, in a vicious circle of denial, blaming and shaming. Fighting for her very life, with her back against the wall, she ventured forward despite fear and found a way to move beyond feeling a victim. She used her voice and took action, saving her own life. She chose to search for the light within and beyond the pain. She knew it was there. She confronted and overcame: \t \t* her codependency and her husband’s alcoholism \t* sexual abuse by her first psychotherapist \t* fear of going beyond family rules and limits \t* standing up to sexism, victim-blaming, and fear of owning her voice She moved beyond all that. Refusing to identify with the struggle itself, she used what she learned and became a therapist. A life-threatening injury and the gift of a book marrying science and spirituality emboldened her to end denial of mystical spiritual experiences she kept secret as a child yet had held her throughout her trials. She found she’d been guided throughout her entire life, even during times she felt so desperately alone. She explored her ancestral lineage, past lives and did soul retrieval, experiencing spiritual guides and angels, leaving the reader with the awareness of the possibilities that lie within us all. Every one of us. She brought the light she saw to the battlefield that was her life. And recovered.
​​In her debut memoir, Verner shares how spiritual experiences helped her survive abandonment, sexual abuse, family addiction, and multiple suicide attempts. She details how advisors, both in spirit form and living, guided her through difficult times: “helpers…held a candle guiding me through some of my darkest hours, lighting my path forward.” Verner also describes her own experiences in psychotherapy, both as a patient and a social worker beginning in the 1980s, sharing with readers the “considerable compassion” she gained for her patients. Weaving together spiritualism and mental health practices, Verner delivers an inspirational narrative that will resonate with readers seeking hope for healing and who are open to concepts like spirit guides.

Writing for an adult audience unfamiliar with the realities of mental healthcare, Verner digs into the foundations of psychology and reveals how these theories influenced her personal life and her practice as a licensed clinical social worker. She explains the differences between ethical and unsupportive clinician-patient relationships, as well as the importance of patients establishing “informed consent” with their therapist. Verner also considers therapy practices that are still being used and those that are out-of-date: “I began my long walk past several nurses…past the locked medical room used for shock therapy, past the empty ‘quiet’ room used for patients who are in restraints (full leathers that is).”

​​Verner’s memoir does not purport to be a self-help guide–she cautions readers that not every mental health and spiritual technique, such as hypnosis, is recommended by every clinician. Despite the dark subject matter, Verner’s conversational style makes this an easy, meditative read. She often uses repetitive fragments to highlight her points, and although this can make the text choppy, it does not detract from the tension and tone: “There were only three people on the road that night. Me. Benjamin. And a police officer.” Spiritualists and survivors looking for inspirational guidance will find much here to contemplate.

Takeaway: This thoughtful memoir details the importance of mental health treatment and spiritualism in healing.

Great for fans of: Kay Redfield Jamison’s An Unquiet Mind, Kathryn Foster’s Sessions: Memoirs of a Psychotherapist.

Production grades
Cover: A-
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A-
Marketing copy: A