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Swimming to the Horizon: Crack, Psychosis, and Street-Corner Social Work

Swimming to the Horizon: Crack, Psychosis, and Street-Corner Social Work

Swimming to the Horizon is a look at the bottom rungs of the community mental health system, where clinicians with little experience or training often work with patients holding together lives burdened by drug addiction, severe psychosis, poverty, and generations of trauma.


Zak Mucha took over an assertive community treatment team created to provide twenty-four seven clinical services for a client population we typically only see on the local news when police interventions turn into tragedies. In Swimming to the Horizon, we learn that therapy is provided not merely in fifty-minute sessions but in those moments spent attending to life in flophouse hotels, emergency rooms, grocery stores, alleyways, and courtrooms.

Pages: 312
Pub Date: 02-20-2024
Softcover: 19.95 979-8-88824-225-4
Hardcover: 27.95 979-8-88824-227-8


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Zak Mucha, LCSW, is a psychoanalyst in private practice and president of the Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis. He spent seven years working as the supervisor of an assertive community treatment (ACT) program, providing twenty-four seven services to persons suffering from severe psychosis, substance abuse issues, and homelessness. Mucha has worked as a counselor and consultant for US combat veterans undergoing training for digital forensic investigations in child pornography. Before going into the clinical field, Mucha worked as a freelance journalist, truck driver, furniture mover, construction worker, union organizer, staff member at a juvenile DCFS locked unit, and taught briefly at a women’s prison. He is the author of Emotional Abuse: A Manual for Self-Defense as well as two collections of poetry, The Ambulatorium and Shadow Box, and a novel, The Heavyweight Champion of Nothing.

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