Rachel Gunner is the author of the critically acclaimed non-fiction book Beyond These Walls that Cheryl Ellis of Allbooks Reviews describes as “a haunting story that readers will not soon forget.” Co-authored by Hanna Gabriele, a woman who lived with 26 personalities, the book is a fascinating journey about a fascinating issue, Dissociative Identity Disorder.
Gunner, a psychotherapist with 34 years experience in the field of mental health, began this writing project on a whim. Gabriele was threatening to commit suicide when Gunner blurted out, “we need to write a book together.” What ensued were hours, days and months of learning together, challenging one another, being scared, feeling hopeless, feeling hopeful and above all finding the courage so that in less than two years, Gabriele became one whole woman.
Written in alternating chapters, this book offers the unique dual perspective of the therapist-client relationship in a format that has never before been written. The book expresses the universal beliefs that with hope, faith and loving relationships, healing from life’s tragedies is always possible.
When she is not writing about healing, Gunner is healing children, adolescents, adults, couples and families who need the compassion and professional skills that Gunner has to offer to help them move beyond their walls and help them become healthier, more productive people. She has been, and continues to be a teacher/mentor for students entering the field of counseling. Legal teams have used her as an expert in the fields of family law and disability. Gunner has won awards for her clinical excellence. She is a dynamic, high-energy, intelligent woman who has entertained radio and live audiences on issues related to relationships, intimacy, disability, bereavement and Dissociative Identity Disorder. Described as “pathologically optimistic”, she is passionate about her craft and life itself.
Gunner grew up in Montreal, Canada. She received her graduate degree in Social Work from McGill University, and won the award for outstanding achievement. She was the youngest president of the alumni of the School of Social Work.
She now lives in Austin, Texas with her husband of 25 years, and is the proud mother of a Rhodes Scholar. As Dr. Dana Cloud, professor of Communications at the University of Texas at Austin has stated, Gunner has the “integrity of a therapist who is willing to listen and learn and earn trust through unconditional caring and exploration.” And as Hanna Gabriele herself has said “Rachel showed all of us what life is all about. We will forever remember that most special of gifts.”
Hannah Gabriele chooses to remain anonymous. She continues to learn to live life.
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Youth Infusion, MS Society, Alzheimers Association, National Heart Institute, American Cancer Society
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