An Oasis in the Wilderness

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In the late 1980s, author Tony Ferrigno had been employed as an ironworker for twenty years when he began experiencing both physical and mental stress. His parents’ health declined, and they eventually died. Enormous pressure forced him to retire on disability. He developed intense and debilitating physical symptoms, and he was more nervous than ever, bringing on difficulty breathing, stomach upset, and side pain. Eventually, he avoided leaving the house. Going to church was an ordeal. Traveling on buses, trains, and planes was out of the question. He wondered if life was worth living in those circumstances. And then he heard about Recovery International, a self-help group offering a cognitive behavioral training method developed by the late neuro psychiatrist Dr. Abraham A. Low. It helps people learn to identify and manage negative thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and behaviors that can lead to emotional distress and related physical symptoms. In An Oasis in the Wilderness, Ferrigno shares his story and how the organization helped him get his life back. A combination of memoir, self-help, and inspiration, An Oasis in the Wilderness narrates how one man, immobilized by fear, used the Recovery method to not only help himself but others.

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