Inside Coma
A New View of Awareness, Healing, and Hope
by Pierre Morin, MD, PhD, and Gary Reiss, LCSW, PhD
July 2010, 261pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-38389-2
$55, £43, 48€, A76
eBook Available: 978-0-313-38390-8
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

A woman who is thought to have no consciousness is able to play tennis in her mind in a way that is measurable. Another person, who is given no chance of recovery, suddenly speaks after 20 years. People in comas fill hospital beds worldwide—and there is more reason for hope about their chances for recovery than ever.

Offering a new view and a fascinating understanding of coma states, this hope-filled work explains technology-driven insights and describes practices with which family members and caregivers can help promote recovery.

Exciting scientific discoveries are validating what coma therapists Dr. Pierre Morin and Dr. Gary Reiss have been teaching for years: that coma patients’ awareness is both detailed and complex, and their chances of significant recovery is much greater than previously thought. Inside Coma: A New View of Awareness, Healing, and Hope describes practical, body-centered ways of communicating with coma patients, showing family members and caregivers how to enter the patient’s inner world of experience to engage their will and power to heal.

Advocating for a new, ethical sensitivity that gives patients in remote and comatose states a right to exist, the authors explain the newest developments in the cutting-edge treatment of coma patients through a mind-body approach to medicine and healing, placing these developments in the context of the changing field of consciousness studies. They teach, challenge, and inspire readers to a new level of understanding, compassion, and intervention, offering basic tools with which health-care professionals and family members alike can begin this remarkably effective work.


  • Heartwarming stories that engender genuine hope for professionals and families dealing with this most difficult area of treatment
  • More than 20 relevant exercises that help the reader to understand the coma state and how to be most useful to the person in this state
  • An appendix that expands on scientific and philosophical concepts introduced in the book and includes reference links
  • A glossary of basic terms of process-oriented coma work and related medical terms
  • A bibliography
Pierre Morin, MD, PhD, is a copresident of the International Association of Process-Oriented Psychology (IAPOP) and a faculty member at the Process Work Institute Graduate School in Portland, OR. He was the assistant clinical director of Switzerland's leading rehabilitation clinic for brain injuries for five years. After moving to Portland, OR, he studied health psychology and rehabilitation psychology. He currently works as a clinical supervisor in an outpatient mental health program. Dr. Morin has written several articles on mind-body medicine and community health.

Gary Reiss, LCSW, PhD, is in private practice in Eugene and Portland, OR, as a therapist. He is a senior faculty member of the Process Work Institute, Portland, OR, and teaches process-oriented psychology worldwide. Dr. Reiss is the author of Changing Ourselves, Changing the World; Vital Loving: A Guide Book for Couples and Families; Angry Men, Angry Women, Angry World: Moving from Destructiveness to Creativity; and Beyond War and Peace in the Arab Israeli Conflict.


"Recommended. Medical and allied health professionals; upper-division undergraduates through researchers."—Choice, February 1, 2011

"Drs. Morin and Reiss share their unique experience of working with people in coma. Their book is exciting to read, full of valuable information and an important contribution to the growing field of process-oriented coma work. With their powerful mix of theory, client stories of remarkable journeys, and easy-to-follow exercises, the reader is taken into the world inside coma. It helps professionals and caregivers relate with people in coma, and with their own internal states. We highly recommend it." —Drs. Amy and Arnold Mindell, authors of Coma, A Healing Journey, and Coma, Key to Awakening

"Kudos to Morin and Reiss for helping to bridge the great chasm between conventional medical science and the emerging paradigm of process oriented psychology as applied to managing patients in coma or minimally conscious states. Not only do they offer a refreshing new framework for understanding coma, they have provided a gold mine of practical advice for all who interact with and manage patients in altered states of consciousness, whether in the ICU, the neuro-rehabilitation unit, or providing care at the end of life."—Richard J. Maunder, M.D., Intensivist and Palliative Medicine specialist
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