Peter’s Sword

Author
Brian Van Brunt, Ed.D., President, NaBITA; Partner, TNG

Set on the north shore of Boston in the late 1990s, the collection of nonfiction stories found in Peter’s Sword chronicles the author’s experiences assessing and committing those lost in the dark crack between sanity and insanity. Peter’s Sword is a unique, reflective, and often humorous exploration of the power, authority, and suffering encountered when experts and the system attempt to control the chaos that occurs when mental illness and ordered society collide. Written from the perspective of a newly hired expert charged with policing the line between commitment and freedom, Van Brunt invites readers to follow him as he wrestles with the ambiguity of mental illness. Exploring questions of morality and what is involved when helping a human being who is lost, each story takes readers deeper down the rabbit hole of what is considered normal and what is considered mentally ill. From suicide to schizophrenia, the author guides readers through the often disturbing and complex challenges encountered when assessing risk and determining whether patients need to be involuntarily committed. Peter’s Sword is a rare glimpse into the emotionally complicated and challenging world of emergency psychiatric assessment.

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