On Friday, Sept. 23 at 6:30 p.m. Sherry Glaser will read/sign her new book, “The First Practical Handbook for Crazy People: Making the Best of Mental Illness” (co-written with her late mother, Shelly Glaser) at Gallery Bookshop, 319 Kasten Street, Mendocino, Calif. 95460.

Shelly Glaser (L) and Sherry Glaser (R)

Mendocino, CA, September 06, 2016 --( 

The First Practical Handbook for Crazy People empowers by removing the stigma of "crazy," and replacing it with the hope that we can move through healing and serenity, no matter whose genes we inherited.—Midwest Book Review

On Friday, Sept. 23 at 6:30 p.m., the Gallery Bookshop in Mendocino, Calif. will host author and award-winning performance artist Sherry Glaser’s book launch of "The First Practical Handbook for Crazy People [Making the Best of Mental Illness]," which was co-written with her late mother, Shelly Glaser.

Sherry will be on hand to read and sign the book; and discuss related topics, including her mother’s determination to transcend her severe mental illness diagnosis; the impact of parental mental illness on children who may fear inheriting "craziness;" and what it’s like to co-write a book with a parent who is deceased.

Mother's Milk Publications released the book in paperback on Sept. 6. The handbook came out in Kindle e-book format last month, and garnered stellar reader reviews. Radio journalist Christina Aanestad called it “a unique testament to the human spirit and a touching memoir to Sherry's late mother, who lived a full life with a mental illness, gaining a law degree, managing a company, and raising a family—all while going crazy.”

“Years after my mother died, I came across this manuscript she’d written entitled ‘The First Practical Handbook for Crazy People,’” said Sherry Glaser in a phone interview with journalist Marlan Warren. “I was struck by how honest she was in sharing her own journey and her down-to-earth tips for others who may also be struggling.”

In 2015, Sherry decided to pick up where her mother left off—polishing Shelly Glaser’s manuscript, while adding her own harrowing ‘herstory.’ In the book’s section, “Sherry: The Sequel,” Sherry recounts her rollercoaster life which has run the gamut from celebrated performance artist (her award-winning Off-Broadway show “Family Secrets” still holds the title of “The Longest Running One-Woman Show in Off-Broadway History”) to the mysterious disappearance of her husband to pot advocacy (and SWAT arrest) to lesbian marriage and divorce. Like her mother, Sherry shares the tools she uses to keep straitjackets at bay.

“We’re breaking new ground here,” said Sherry Glaser. “This is the first mother-daughter mental health recovery handbook.”

Clinical psychologist Lauren J. Oliver commented in an Amazon review: “It is inspiring to experience a clear-voiced woman who is committed to self-healing and being well, and who uses many practical and valuable tools to do so.”

The book also features Shelly Glaser’s “Companion Questionnaire,” which serves as an interactive workbook to help readers “avoid making uninformed choices.”

Sherry Glaser created “The First Practical Blog for Crazy People” and on Aug. 22, posted:

“We don't know what's next, but if we know where we're coming from, and that there are practical tools ready and available, we can learn to crawl and walk and run and”

Book Launch Location:
Gallery Bookshop
319 Kasten Street
Mendocino, CA 95460
Phone: (707) 937-2665

Gallery Bookshop Website:

Book Info:
Media Kit:
Title: The First Practical Handbook for Crazy People [Making the Best of Mental Illness]
Authors: Shelly Glaser with Sherry Glaser
Genre: Psychology & Counseling Mental Illness/Self-Help
Publisher: Mother's Milk Publications
Paperback: Pub. Sept. 6, 2016 Kindle E-Book: Pub. Aug. 4, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-692-76460-2 (90 pages) ASIN: B01JTMPELO (File Size: 308 KB)
Available on Amazon:

Book Blog:

As a Clinical Psychologist, I am deeply impressed with the wisdom and determination emergent in The First Practical Handbook for Crazy People. Rare and inspiring to meet and experience a clear-voiced woman who is committed to self-healing and being well, and uses many practical and valuable tools to do so. This is what psychology should be: tools and knowledge for Every Person to inquire, investigate, experiment, understand and so heal herself and the world around her.

Sherry Glaser, brilliant comedic playwright, activist, world lover, and a “chip off the matriarch” has coauthored with her mom Shelly this practical booklet to guide the everyday search for greater consciousness and inner peace. Shelly shares cultivated practices for dealing with “the Crazy” that will serve anyone in our society. The gratitude, joy and revelry in self-love inspired in the reader is phenomenal. Read it! You’ll use it!

As a teacher & practitioner of clinical psychology, I have not seen a better set/compendium of tools to understand and deal with the emotional roller coaster resulting from abuse suffered in childhood that has a “fracturing effect on your being”. Find herein tried-and-true practices for mental health and conscious awareness, to help you and me deal with “the Crazy” world we live in. I admire this courageous writer who, up against grave and forgotten trauma, determined to live her life with joy.

It is my experience after working with some of the most diagnostically mentally ill people on the planet during the last 40 years that in some fundamental way they may be the healthiest amongst us. Consider, if we can live in denial or in upset, who is closest to the truth? Lauren J. Oliver, Clinical Psychologist

The Mother-Daughter Continuum
Continuum: noun (kƒn-tin'yoo- ƒm): A continuous sequence in which adjacent elements are not perceptibly different from each other, although the extremes are quite distinct, e.g., at the fast end of the fast-slow continuum.
--The First Practical Handbook for Crazy People [Making the Best of Mental Illness]

In the self-help tradition of Louise Hay’s New Thought books (“Heal Your Life”), comes The First Practical Handbook for Crazy People [Making the Best of Mental Illness]. It not only features tips from mental patient, Shelly Glaser, but the twist is that this handbook was not only posthumously published, but co-written with her daughter—award-winning performance artist and author, Sherry Glaser—after Shelly died.

Years after her mother’s death (hastened by the side effects of anti-psychotic medications), Sherry Glaser came across the manuscript in rough draft (with this title) and felt inspired to finish it, adding her own story—which included deep fear of inheriting mental illness— and delineating the tools she uses to transcend that dread and keep herself sane.T

True to its title, this book offers practical step-by-step tools made so simple that anyone could try them and not feel overwhelmed by the prospect. They include meditation, the mind-body connection and the “exotic” (for the more adventurous).

Each Glaser has walked through her own mental hell. Each tells her hair-raising story (in the elder Glaser’s case, literally, as she endured numerous electroshock treatments) with eloquence and wry humor.

The book opens with Mama Glaser’s life story. Along the way, she stops to explain what worked for her, what didn’t work for her, and encourages all seekers to make their own decisions as they explore options for recovery. How do you choose a therapist? Should you get electroshock treatments? Shelly lays out the choices without pushing. She does not try to sell herself as an expert on anything but her own experiences. Her direct honesty and plain talk give an insider look into how mental illness can be bravely borne with a strong will to heal whatever can be healed. Shelly Glaser could be your mother, your sister, your daughter…your peer. And her resilience inspires.

Then “The Mother-Daughter Continuum” swings into focus as Sherry tells her side, creating a link between their “herstories” that resonates beyond the grave.

It’s no surprise that Sherry Glaser puts “Creativity” at the top of her list of mental health lifesavers. She came to New York fame with her one-woman show, Family Secrets, which still holds the title of the Longest-Running One-Woman Show in Off-Broadway History. In 2015, her Oh My Goddess!: A Comedy of Biblical Proportions won the Best Avant-Garde award at New York's United Solo Festival.

In the section entitled Sherry: The Sequel, she recounts her rollercoaster life without a trace of self-pity or morbid self-reflection. Sherry reveals herself to be a dedicated activist against war and for cannabis legalization, who was devastated by the sudden disappearance of her husband, which remains an unsolved mystery to this day. Add to that lesbian marriage/divorce and arrest by a SWAT team, and it seems a wonder she is not in a straitjacket.
And speaking of straitjackets…

The cover features a black man smiling beatifically…in a straitjacket. How did this cover come to grace the Mother-Daughter Continuum’s first handbook? Sherry explains before she even gets to page 1. Hint: Her mother was behind it.

No alternative tool is left unturned. Mother and daughter offer two different viewpoints on the topic of electroshock therapy vs. medical cannabis. Actually, one left something out of her story in this regard, and the other one put it back in. Hint: Sherry Glaser is a founding member of the Love In It Co-op, a medical marijuana dispensary in Mendocino, California.

With its Companion Questionnaire that is designed to be used in a Clinical Psychology classroom as a workbook, but is user-friendly enough for a more casual setting, The First Practical Handbook for Crazy People serves as a useful, calming addition to anyone’s mental health library.

And for those of us whose parents struggled with the horrors of mental illness, this book does its best to empower us by removing the stigma of “crazy,” and replacing it with the hope that we can move through healing and serenity, no matter whose genes we inherited.


What I like about this book is that it is simple and concise, it is gentle but direct. This book is very helpful to anyone who is dealing with mental illness or who knows someone who is. This is a guide on how to get through it, on how to get over it, and how to get to the other side. I'm very glad I got to read it.

—Shyla Weathers

The First Practical Handbook for Crazy People is a wonderful resource for
everyone who is ready to let go of of labeling themselves as “mentally ill.” This creative, mother/daughter, duo speaks to the truth in all of our lives--We’ve all been wounded and we’re all recovering. The old model of separating sick from healthy, crazy from sane, no longer works. We are all on this earth to love and accept ourselves. This book is the perfect gift for anyone who is on the path of healing and is ready for the support and guidance of two “crazy ladies” who speak the truth.

--Jed Diamond, PhD, author of

The Practical Handbook for Crazy People will make you laugh and cry with personal narratives about going crazy, coming back and lessons learned. Shelly and Sherry Glaser, a mother-daughter duo, share their insights and tips on how to successfully manage mental illness and stress in every day life. It's a testament to the human spirit and a touching memoir to Sherry's late mother, Shelly, who lived a full life with a mental illness, gaining a law degree, managing a company, and raising a family-all while going crazy. Here, they offer their secrets to success in a sweet and simple book of advice that crazy and not-so-crazy people can utilize. It is a reminder and how-to guide to find the silver lining in life's everyday struggles and experiences.
 —Christina Aanestad, Radio Journalist (KPFA)

Sherry and Shelly Glaser team up to bring an amazing work on living with mental illness. In her lifetime the elder Ms. Glaser compiled a wealth of strategies and tools that allowed her to live her best life. She offer them all to you, so that you can also live your best life.--Lasara Firefox Allen, author of Jailbreaking the Goddess: A Radical Revisioning of Feminist Spirituality [Teacher and Coach living with bipolar disorder]

A Special Message from Sherry Glaser:

I am publishing a manuscript that my mother Shelly Glaser left for me in her will. She was diagnosed with Mental Illness in the 1960's and still went on to have an amazing, happy, successful life. She died in February of 2010. She was a prolific writer, poet and playwright. She was beloved by family and her Carmel Community. She was determined to finish this manuscript before she died and I was happy to organize and edit the work this year.

I have added my own story to the manuscript regarding the art of dealing with the crazy in my life and it has resulted in a beautiful mother-daughter continuum. 
THE FIRST PRACTICAL HANDBOOK FOR CRAZY PEOPLE comes with a Companion Questionnaire to help one make more informed choices in  life.  This comes in four parts: Who are you? Why were you born? What do you want? and What will you do? My mother writes with extraordinary compassion and experience in the world of madness to reveal her truth and her gift.

I know mental health is a HUGE issue in our lives. Every family is touched by it. My mother's first hand experience, non-judgmental, self-help tools, as well as my own, give one the chance to be happy and have a great life even if you are crazy. 

Here is the Foreword to the book:

My mother, Rochelle (Shelly) Lillian Hassan Glaser, was born on September 6, 1939, in the Bronx. Her mother and father were mentally incompetent. Her father had suffered brain damage as a child, and her mother had some kind of a delusional disorder that made her vulnerable to sick perversions. My mother was subjected to horrors that no human being, let alone a four year old, should ever experience. After appearing in court and testifying against her mother (who consequently was committed to a mental hospital for the rest of her life) my mother became a ward of the New York City foster care system until she was sixteen years old. 

Finally reunited with her sister in the Bronx, Shelly found some solace from strangers, yet still had to navigate the unpredictable eruptions of a cruel grandmother. Despite all these insurmountable obstacles, my mother found JOY. Whether on the rooftops of Bronx high rises singing Fiddler on the Roof with her sister or falling in love with my father at a friend’s engagement party in Brooklyn in 1959, my mother had a gift. She could always look on the bright side. 

She did, however, have a “nervous breakdown” in 1964, and began her journey through the revolving doors of mental hospitals. Still, she raised her children, was gainfully employed and stayed married to my father until he died in 1997. 

Even though her mental instability scared me, I also found her to be mystical and magical, and in touch with invisible forces. She had insights and the ability to distill her suffering into poetry and playwrighting, while channeling love and compassion. All this made her a brilliant being. My mother was illuminated. It comes as no surprise to me that genius and crazy are so close to each other on the spectrum.

This handbook is a distillation of my mother’s quest for sanity. Her biggest fear was being crazy. So she spent over forty years devising a system to not only exist, but thrive, be joyful and creative and avoid the “Crazy.” 

Eventually, she found creative outlets for her more “exotic” side. She even found a niche talking to the dead and delivering comforting messages to their living loved ones. Lots of friends and neighbors relied on her special talents and accepted her unusual ways. 

My mother died in February 2010 of kidney failure, but she had sworn an oath to finish this book before she died. In helping her complete her goal, I was able to spend time with my mom as I edited this handbook, and combine our wisdom and experience.  

Although it was my hereditary predisposition to go “crazy” like my mother and her mother before her, the chain was broken with me as I took myself into a journey of self­discovery and creative expression that has helped me stay sane against all odds. 

I hope this book will help anyone who struggles with the notion of “crazy” to find peace of mind and creative outlets that can relieve the pressures of living life. 

Albion, California


The First Practical Blog For Crazy People

In a world gone mad Sherry Glaser offers her simple and sane perspectives on navigating through the crazy and finding laughter, empowerment, logic and sanity. Sherry and her Mother Shelly have written THE FIRST PRACTICAL HANDBOOK FOR CRAZY PEOPLE and this blog will be a platform to share personal and political points of view reflected in the Handbook and the ongoing struggle to be sane in the 21st century.

EXCERPT (Aug. 17, 2016)
I remember having so much more time. Time to write. Time to talk on the phone while standing or sitting in one place. Time to go out to dinner and the movies and then for drinks to talk about the movie instead of endlessly singularly binging down the stream. Yet, there is something so persuasive about those reality shows and the eternal nature of them. I'm a fool for Project Runway and Top Chef and Of course I've seen every Season of  Orange is the New Black. Yet, in each there is a fierce and rude, sometimes violent competition. There are more winners and losers  than ever. Everything is competitive, Skin Wars, Wife wars, Hell's Kitchen even Cake wars for God's sake. You can literally sit in front of that screen for the rest of your life and the trough never runs out of screen wars. And we wonder why we are a bunch of bitchy bullies...

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