Each one of us has a story that is its own beautiful tale and we can learn a great deal when we choose to share our stories with one another.

Because of this, I have chosen to share my patients'stories and experiences in this book. I have learned that without focusing upon the human element of the healing endeavor, theoretical concepts are useless. Whether you are a practicing physician, a patient, or someone simply looking for guidance, you, too, can learn as you identify with my patients. You will see parts of yourself in their stories; and as you empathize with them, you will be supported in your own journey towards health.

When I decided to write this book, I knew I had to share the most powerful, moving, intense, long-term, and amazing story of healing that I have personally experienced. It is the story of Gillie, who became my patient fourteen years ago. When Gillie and I met, she was one of the most shattered people I had ever seen -- and yet, as time went on, Gillie proved to be far more emotionally distressed than I had previously imagined. She had been diagnosed with multiple personality disorder, or dissociative identity disorder. Those of you who know the books The Three Faces of Eve and Sybil can appreciate what this diagnosis involves. After decades of psychiatric treatment and multiple psychiatric hospitalizations for serious suicide attempts, suffering from a pervasive inability to stay present in her own skin, and an absolute aversion to sharing her internal world with anyone, Gillie asked me to help her.

The story has a powerful lesson: the determination to heal can pay off. Gillie now enjoys sound emotional and mental health. She no longer has dissociative identity disorder, and she is one of the most impressive people I have ever known.

Within Gillie's story there is another tale to tell. It is my story; I want to share that with you as well, to show you how my relationship with Gillie taught me profound lessons about the art of psychiatry and the wonder of healing. Gillie and I began our relationship at the same time as I began my psychiatric practice, and I learned from her just as she was able to learn from me. This remarkable woman forced me to reach down to the bottom of my soul to find a way to help her. In doing so, she taught me to be resolute in the fact of amazing challenges, patient and hopeful in the face of continued despair, and dogged in my belief that, if she would let me into the deepest recesses of her internal world and allow me to guide her, I would be able to help her. I couldn't just hope that I would be able to help Gillie; I had to believe I could. I had to trust that I could help her move from a place of obsession with self-destruction and distrust, to a place of fulfillment, joy, and love.

Gillie's story is the ultimate demonstration of the power of faith in healing. For although I took advantage of every medical teaching and therapeutic technique I had ever learned in my attempt to help her heal, her cure would have been impossible had I left love, unity, empathy, and hope out of her treatment.

My work with Gillie led me to trust what feels natural. I had to quiet the rational side of myself, and draw on my inner-wisdom, capacity for empathy, ability to love, and faith that I would be given answers. I needed to become Gillie's guide through the labyrinth, and be her model of a happy, integrated, and reliable woman.

Through my work with Gillie, I learned to integrate medicine, mindset, and the spiritual realm. I came to trust in the unconventional in my clinical work. I now know that in order to help my patients heal themselves, I must go beyond my medical training. I employ a body-mind-spirit approach that I have chosen to represent with the three-legged stool in this book. My goal in the coming pages is to show you that when it comes to healing broken psyches, we cannot separate body, mind, and spirit from one another. These elements depend upon one another just as the tides depend upon the moon, and the earth depends upon the sun.

Author's Bio: 

Eve A. Wood, M.D. has devoted nearly two decades to the care of troubled individuals from all walks of life. Her therapeutic approach has attracted attention and acclaim from the nation’s leading authorities in the fields of medicine, health and spiritual well being. She is the author of numerous articles for medical and professional publications and is a frequent speaker at national workshops and conferences, including the American Psychiatric Association.

Dr. Wood has served on the faculty of University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, the executive committee of the Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital and has most recently been appointed Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Arizona Program in Integrative Medicine. With a concentration in neurobiology and behavior, Wood graduated cum laude from Cornell University with a B.A. in biology. She earned her M.D. at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. She currently lives in Tucson with her husband and four children.