Reviews for “Listening With My Eyes”
As a psychotherapist, listening and truly hearing what is being said, and the ability to capture the meaning, is at the very heart of therapy. Being able to listen by observation, love and patience with a rescue horse damaged by abuse, and then translating those lessons to better care for her mother with dementia is a truly inspiring story. "Listening With My Eyes" by Patricia Conoway strikes at the heart of compassion and love and demonstrates how through observation, fierce determination, and a willingness to suspend judgement, deepens awareness and becomes wisdom. I highly recommend this book.
Robert Lewis, LMFT, Albuquerque, NM
I cannot say how much I enjoyed the honesty, sensitivity and wisdom in this book. I sent it to my sister and I'm already regretting I didn't buy more copies as I'm longing to reread some of the beautiful passages of Patricia's experiences which showed much bravery and courage. This story brings so much light into the world and will help so many who are going though similar struggles. The quote "The target isn't worth the shot" brought a lot into perspective for me. This book is an inspiration!
Kathleen Keating, Professor Emerita, UNM, Albuquerque, NM
For anyone who appreciates a well-told journey of hope and triumph, "Listening With My Eyes" is worth the read. The memoir style paints a lovely homage to Patricia's mother and the horse that gave mother and daughter many more years of communication than expected.
Barb Armijo, PrimeTime Magazine, September 2016
I've spent my career as a Clinical Psychologist and have treated a fair number of dementia patients. Patricia's description of their issues are spot on and illuminate the challentes these individuals and their caregivers face on a daily basis. Her observations regarding similarities communicating with her horse, Dream and her mother are quite touching and insightful and her techniques are practical; further, they provide a nice template for others who face similar challenges. The appendices are very informative and suggestions she recommends are very helpful. Thank you, Patricia for this story, a lovely tribute to your parents and also to Dream!
Vito DonGiovanni, PsyD, Indiana, PA
This moving and often unsettling story offers a break-through approach in caregiving for parents and other loved ones with Alzheimer's or dementia. Not only that - the book offers a unique double-whammy: author Patricia Conoway grasped the connection between communication with Dream, a severely abused horse which, unbeknownst to her, had been drugged into submission when she rode and purchased her, and her own mother who had lost her ability to speak due to Alzheimer's. For anyone interested in animal love and welfare, this book is for you. For anyone interested in better understanding how to communicate with non-verbal people, or friends and relatives with any form of dementia, this book is for you. For anyone who is caught up in both worlds, as author Conoway was, this book is DEFINITELY for you.
Susan Haynes, former Senior Acquisitions Editor for Wilderness Press and Menasha Ridge press, currently writing a book about a murder, Santa Fe, NM
Patricia Conoway's book, "Listening With My Eyes" is a life changer. The challenges faced with helping Dream, her horse, and the challenges faced with understanding and helping her mother give the reader an opportunity to self reflect on much that may manifest from the willingness to accept how we choose to interact with each other and other beings. This book provides a way to do that and offers insights on understanding non verbal communication. It is a gift of learning for the soul.
Ruben S. Cedeno, Ph.D., Los Cerrillos, NM
I am always in the midst if reading 3 to 5 books simultaneously. But once I got involved in reading "Listening With My Eyes" I just had to complete it. It is touching, informative, sometimes scary, and a good read.
Robert M. Miller, DVM, Thousand Oaks, CA
Pioneering work with equine behavior, professor and lecturer, author, 6 Equine books, 6 Equine DVD's several articles for Western Horseman, cartoonist for veterinary and horsemanship magazines.
Patricia Conoway has created a breakthrough guide to help caregivers connect with their loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. She takes us on her journey with her mother Kay who’s in the late stages of Alzheimer’s, dependent on others for her most basic needs and no longer able to communicate verbally, when her horse, Dream enters Patricia’s life. Dream had been severely abused by a previous owner, and where others would have given up, Patricia was determined to heal her. In this book, Patricia describes her dual struggles with her mother’s steady decline and persistent issues with care facilities while she’s going through the slow process of learning her horse’s body language. Eventually Dream teaches Patricia communication by “watching and listening” with her senses, which she translates to non-verbal “conversations” with her mother. Patricia’s straightforward account of her own frailties, doubts and eventual success should be recommended reading for anyone who struggles to relate to a person who has lost verbal communication.
Jytte Lokvig, Ph.D., Santa Fe, NM
Author: Alzheimer’s A to Z, Secrets to Successful Caregiving; Alzheimer’s A to Z, A Quick Reference Guide; The Alzheimer’s Creativity Project; and Relationships and Teamwork in Alzheimer’s and Dementia, a Handbook
For years I’ve believed and taught that horses can teach us numerous lessons that are useful and fulfilling in our daily lives. It is apparent that Patricia has not only learned valuable lessons from her experiences with her horse, but she learned to use those lessons to better serve her mother in this wonderful story of discovery and compassion.
Van Hargis, Master Horseman
Listening With My Eyes is a gift for caregivers of a loved one with dementia. Patricia’s touching memoir offers much needed practical information, but more important is Patricia’s detailed journey to understanding how best to communicate with her mother, who died of Alzheimer’s Disease - and how her horse, Dream, became her teacher. There is no book like this on the market.
Jan S. Olsen, Gerontologist
Santa Fe, NM
Listening With My Eyes is wonderful and profoundly moving. What a gift to the world! It is happy, hopeful, sad, joyful and painfully honest. I’m recommending this book to EVERYBODY. I’m going to buy copies and give them as gifts. Everyone needs to read this and give thought, not only to increased awareness of body language, but also to increased awareness of one’s own aging and planning for it.
Karen Evans, Advanced Instructor: Physical & Cognitive Disabilities,
Santa Fe, NM
Having just finished Listening With My Eyes by Patricia Conoway, I had to think about the three major souls in her book: her mother, her horse and, of course, Patricia. This accounting of an important time in her life was extremely personal. It introduces the reader to the worlds of horsemanship ad Alzheimer’s, totally different but the same communication skills (especially non- verbal) apply. Dealing with Alzheimers is a challenge to us all; however, this book will introduce you to methods that may make your life, as well as that of your loved one, less stressful. A good book that will, no doubt, become dog-eared in a very short time. For a first-time author…Patricia hit the mark.
Jack McCarthy, Counselor - Reality Therapy Certified
Board Member - The Santa Fe Horse Shelter
Santa Fe, NM