I have been thinking about where WRAP came from. It is such fun to go back and visit those times. I had compiled my data, started giving workshops based on what I learned (even though a psychiatrist told me I could never lead a workshop) and even began writing a book based on my findings (I was also told I could never write a book). I went to conferences and presented on my findings and they were packed with people. People were sick of hearing about medications and changes in their brains and just wanted to feel better and move on with their lives. A wonderful man, David Hilton, hired me to present workshops, one day a week for 8 weeks, in every county in New Hampshire. And then Vermont decided to do the same thing. I felt like I was on a roll. I was doing very well myself, using what I had learned from others. I had two published books based on my findings, I had purchased a condominium and was no longer living on Social Security Disability.
It was at one of those Vermont trainings that something really profound happened. I thought the training had gone very well. I was feeling good about it. But then a woman, Jesse Parker, stood up and said, “This is all well and good. But I have been in institutions all over the country and I wouldn’t have any idea how to organize this into my life.” So we, as a group of people living with mental health issues including Jane Winterling who was working with me, all of us together, over three intensive days, developed WRAP—just the way you know it now except with the addition of the Post Crisis Plan which came a bit later. I thought it was quite good so I took it home and on a wintry afternoon I developed my first personal WRAP. And right away I noticed how much better I felt, how well it worked for me in my life. I decided then that, with the help of others who I would teach over time, I would spread the word about WRAP far and wide. And together we have done that for almost 20 years now. This coming March will be the 20th anniversary of the time when that wonderful group of people braved the winter snow, ice and cold and developed WRAP.