Dena Rosenbloom, Ph.D., and Mary Beth Williams Ph.D have written an extremely helpful book for trauma survivors. They work from the premise that: "Trauma affects us by undermining five basic human needs. These are: •The need to be safe •The need to trust •The need to feel some control over one’s life •The need to feel of value •The need to feel close to others." Life After Trauma is designed to help survivors learn to meet these needs. It can be used at home or in conjunction with therapy. The authors do not feel that every one needs therapy even though they are therapists trained in dealing with trauma. They believe, however, that trauma changes survivors’ basic beliefs, sometimes in ways of which they are not aware. This book is designed to increase a survivor’s awareness of core beliefs, to help survivors test their validity, and to help find more healing beliefs if the survivor so desires. Life After Trauma is about dealing with life today, not for working through the trauma. The prologue discusses how the workbook can help survivors. The authors stress finding support, learning self-care strategies, affirmations and soothing self-talk. They discuss when to set the workbook aside and coping with triggers. I found all these suggestions very helpful in dealing with some emotional upheavals I was having at the time. Chapter One, “After Trauma: Why you feel thrown for a loop,” discusses physical, mental, emotional and behavioral reactions to trauma and ways of checking in with yourself and learning to relax. The second chapter, “Ways of Coping After the Trauma,” contains several coping checklists and questions you can ask yourself for analyzing how you cope, followed by suggestions on how to cope more effectively. They even point out that dissociation can be an effective coping tool if you can evoke it as needed. Chapter Three, “Thinking Things Through,” discusses how to separate facts from reactions and meanings/interpretations, how these may change after trauma and a system for thinking them through. The next five chapters explore in detail how to meet the five needs, safety, trust, control, value and intimacy. Part of this is identifying beliefs, checking their validity, finding possible alternate explanations or interpretations, and so forth. There are also reminders of self care activities and relaxations exercises throughout the book. Here’s a quote "You can shift your physical and emotional state by, first, reminding yourself that you are in a different time and place from when you experienced trauma initially. You probably have greater choice and control now that you did then. Second, find ways to comfort and soothe yourself. We have provided ideas for doing this throughout the book, such as relaxation exercises. You may not think they can be much help, but consider this: It is not possible to be tense and completely relaxed at the same time. Learning to relax will directly relieve your tension and anxiety, even if for brief periods initially. Learning to relax can help you feel more in control as well as calmer. The feelings you learn to evoke through self-care and self-comforting exercises are, in many ways, the opposite of those evoked by the trauma. You can learn to use them to help counter and manage negative feelings that now seem out of your control." There is also a very good appendix on readings, one on finding good trauma therapy, and one for therapists who might want to use this book with clients. I can’t recommend this book too highly. It is healing, deals with the kind of daily problems that trauma survivors face in a sensible, thoughtful, and above all, hopeful way. Things can change one little step at a time. The book offers a lot of steps a survivor can take, always with an emphasis on safety and self care. This review first appeared in the Post-Traumatic Gazette, a newsletter with a healing perspective for all trauma survivors. ...This book has that healing perspective.