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Life After Trauma: A Workbook for Healing [Paperback]

Dena Rosenbloom , Mary Beth Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

29 July 1999 1572302399 978-1572302396 Workbook
Trauma can turn a person's world upside down - afterward, nothing may look safe or familiar. This supportive workbook helps trauma survivors find and use crucial skills for coping, self-understanding, and self-care. Even when the worst has happened, this book shows how it is possible to feel good again. Filled with comforting activities, relaxation techniques, self-evaluation questionnaires, and exercises, the workbook explains how and why trauma can throw you for a loop and what survivors can do now to cope. Chapters guide readers step-by-step toward reclaiming step-by-step toward reclaiming a basic sense of safety, self-worth, and control over their lives, as well as the capacity to trust and be close to others.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Guilford Press; Workbook edition (29 July 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572302399
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572302396
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 18.3 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 881,732 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"This is an important new self-help resource for trauma survivors. It constitutes a significant contribution to survivors of all types of trauma who seek information about how to cope with their reactions and symptoms and how to feel better. The authors use the knowledge they have gained from clinical practice to provide information and exercises in an accessible and user-friendly format. Traumatized individuals will be assisted in their recovery efforts and are sure to find the authors' guidance reassuring and empowering." --Christine Courtois, PhD, Clinical Director, The CENTER: Posttraumatic Disorder Program, The Psychiatric Institute of Washington, Author of "Healing the Incest Wound," and "Recollections of Sexual Abuse" ""Life After Trauma" presents a solid base that survivors can stand upon. It offers hope as well as specific tools for the process of healing....Drs. Dena Rosenbloom and Mary Beth Williams are clinical psychologists who have walked through the terror with survivor clients for a decade. Their combined research and clinical experience has provided them with an understanding of the many elements of recovery. Both have served as gentle guides to people in distress. Both have lent their hearts, heads, and hands to survivors who have walked through shame and fear in order to create a new reality that includes, but is not dominated by, a traumatic past....Readers will find many of their difficulties illuminated in these pages." --From the Foreword by Laurie Anne Pearlman, PhD, Traumatic Stress Institute/Center for Adult and Adolescent Psychotherapy, South Windsor, CT "To date, there are very few self-help resources for trauma survivors. Far more about psychological trauma has been made available to researchers and clinicians than to lay readers. "Life After Trauma" presents a solid base that survivors can stand upon. It offers hope as well as specific tools for the process of healing....In my relationships with Dena Rosenbloom and Mary Be

About the Author

Dena Rosenbloom, PhD, a clinical psychologist in private practice in Glastonbury, Connecticut, specializes in helping people who are trying to cope following traumatic life events. She also conducts critical incident stress debriefings for groups of people who have experienced a shared trauma, such as a natural disaster or the death of a coworker on the job, and runs trainings and workshops for trauma survivors and mental health and medical professionals. Mary Beth Williams, PhD, LCSW, CTS, works with trauma survivors in private practice in Warrenton, Virginia, and is a school social worker in Falls Church, Virginia. Dr. Williams is President of the Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists and a staff member of the National Training Program for Post-Trauma Therapists in Finland. She is the author of numerous publications on trauma and its treatment. Barbara E. Watkins is a writer and editor living in Boston.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When self-help really works 19 May 1999
By A Customer
The authors have written an important book for people recovering from traumatic life experiences.Its outline and helpful guidelines set the stage for healing. Its practical suggestions, exercises, and bibliography can be a source of inspiration and knowledge for those walking this difficult path.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
66 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Healing, Helpful book 27 May 2001
By Patience H Mason - Published on
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.
38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Living in the Present 22 April 2000
By A Customer - Published on
I was expecting this book to be about unraveling the past, understanding it, and generally spending a lot of time in territory I wasn't interested in revisiting... Thankfully, it is about being aware of feelings taking place in the present. This book is geared toward increasing self-awareness and self-knowledge, especially important for those who have disassociated in some way or don't feel like "themselves". What a great thing! The format and style are comfortable and easy to use, and I found myself gaining insight as the book went along, without adding more stress to my life! Thank you for this wonderful workbook.
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The healing starts here 22 Mar 2000
By BCJ - Published on
I wanted to read this book after a car crash resulted in general anxiety. When I began to read it, I felt as though the authors really undertood how I was feeling. I felt as though someone were holding my hand, letting me know that there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Helped me a lot 7 Feb 2007
By L. Chruma - Published on
A few months after a major medical situation in my life (several surgeries for brain aneurysm), I began having a very hard time emotionally. I couldn't understand it as I was now "healed" and I thought I should be happy about it. A friend of mine was pursuing a doctorate in Psychology and she suggested that I might be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (not just for war veterans) based on the symptoms I was having. (paranoia, anxiety, depression...not usual characteristics of my happy-go-lucky personality) She actually sent me this book and suggested I try it out along with seeking help from a professional. After talking to her, I went to a psychiatrist to ask about medication and to a therapist along with working on this book. I found that the book was incredibly helpful in teaching me ways to cope with my paranoia, anxiety, and depression when I would hit triggering situations. The book gave me things to do at home when I wasn't with a counselor, and many times I felt it was more useful. (It took me a while to find a counselor with whom I felt comfortable) I'm part of an online support group for aneurysm survivors and many people have similar problems to what I had after coming through the surgeries. I always recommend this book and give them the link to Amazon.

I lent the book to a friend of mine who was traumatized after Hurricane Katrina. (her whole New Orleans neighborhood was flooded and she saw awful things like dead bodies floating by) She also found it very helpful as she did not have much money to pay for counseling. Sadly, she passed away from unrelated medical problems, so she isn't here to write a review in person. But she did a lot of the writing and exercises and she told me how helpful it was. She recommended it to another friend of hers from New Orleans.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When self-help really works 19 May 1999
By A Customer - Published on
The authors have written an important book for people recovering from traumatic life experiences.Its outline and helpful guidelines set the stage for healing. Its practical suggestions, exercises, and bibliography can be a source of inspiration and knowledge for those walking this difficult path.
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