Holding Onto Air: The Art and Science of Building a Resilient Spirit (Paperback)

Holding Onto Air: The Art and Science of Building a Resilient Spirit By Michele DeMarco, PhD Cover Image
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A top mental health writer, trauma researcher, and survivor illuminates the dual nature of loss—the science behind it and art of transforming it with a breakthrough book and truly holistic approach.

After experiencing two rare heart attacks at the age of 33—and a third a decade later, DeMarco knows trauma intimately. Trauma breaks your relationship with time by upending your expectations, fracturing your memories and identity, and destroying your innocence.

With poignant wisdom and refreshing insight DeMarco explodes traditional myths of resilience and shows what it takes to thrive through any of life’s challenges. DeMarco situates meaningful challenge and loss specifically in the context of “lost innocence,” and challenges common notions that we can think our way out of despair and back to a “normal” happy life when the unimaginable shatters it.

Leveraging advances in emotion science, somatic psychology, neuroscience, and trauma, Holding Onto Air brings the body and spirit into the solution, as much as the mind, and so presents a truly integrated, “whole person” approach to recovering from lost innocence and building resilience. It also makes spirit accessible for anyone of any background or belief—or no aligned belief.

More than a rudimentary map for navigating grief and loss’ rocky terrain (with tired tropes and shop-worn strategies), DeMarco offers a unique and trusted guide for an arduous journey every human being will have to face—the realization of evil, pain, or mortality that occurs after a person experiences trauma.

About the Author

Michele DeMarco, Ph.D. is an award-winning writer and published author in the fields of psychology, trauma, health, and spirituality, and is a professionally trained therapist, clinical ethicist, and trauma researcher specializing in moral injury and resilience. She is one of Medium’s Top Writer’s in Health and Mental Health. She holds master’s degrees in World Religion and Ethics, Comparative Culture and Conflict, and Psychology. She studied Marriage and Family therapy at Antioch University. She completed her Ph.D. in Psychology at California Institute of Integral Studies, where she is also a Vice President and teaches Creative Nonfiction Writing and Conflict Transformation.

Praise For…

“A wise and welcoming guide to what comes after survival—the rebuilding of hope, spirit, resilience, joy.” 
—Anne Lamott, New York Times bestselling author

“Weaving penetrating wisdom with Michele’s story of near-death, loss, and renewal and a powerful new model for building resilience, this book shows readers how to more than survive trauma—how to heal, grow, and sustainably thrive.”
—Ricki Pollycove, MD, volunteer clinical faculty, University of California, San Fransisco, and coauthor of Mother Nurture
“There’s no shortage of advice on how to manage stress and despair, but encountering an author that not only expands my understanding but also holds my hand as I try out her strategies is a real treat.”
—Kate Green Tripp, Director, Strategic Communications and Outreach, Stanford Impact Labs, Stanford University
Product Details
ISBN: 9781523004874
ISBN-10: 1523004878
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Publication Date: January 9th, 2024
Pages: 240
Language: English