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Coping With Trauma, Second Edition

Hope Through Understanding

Jon G. Allen, Ph.D.

  • ISBN 978-1-58562-169-9
  • Item #62169


Combining years of research, teaching, and experience treating trauma survivors, Dr. Jon G. Allen offers compassionate and practical guidance to understanding trauma and its effects on the self and relationships. Coping With Trauma is based on more than a decade of Dr. Allen's experience conducting educational groups for persons struggling with psychiatric disorders stemming from trauma. Written for a general audience, this book does not require a background in psychology. Readers will gain essential knowledge to embark on the process of healing from the complex wounds of trauma, along with a guide to current treatment approaches.

In this supportive and informative work, readers will be introduced to and encouraged in the process of healing by an author who is both witness and guide. This clearly written, insightful book not only teaches clinicians about trauma but also, equally important, teaches clinicians how to educate their patients about trauma.

Reshaped by recent developments in attachment theory, including the importance of cumulative stress over a lifetime, this compelling work retains the author's initial focus on attachment as he looks at trauma from two perspectives. From the psychological perspective, the author discusses the impact of trauma on emotion, memory, the self, and relationships, incorporating research from neuroscience to argue that trauma is a physical illness. From the psychiatric perspective, the author discusses various trauma-related disorders and symptoms: depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, and dissociative disorders, along with a range of self-destructive behaviors to which trauma can make a contribution.

Important updates include substantive and practical information on

  • Emotion and emotion regulation, prompted by extensive contemporary research on emotion—which is becoming a science unto itself.
  • Illness, based on current developments in the neurobiological understanding of trauma.
  • Depression, a pervasive trauma-related problem that poses a number of catch-22s for recovery.
  • Various forms of self-destructiveness—substance abuse, eating disorders, and deliberate self-harm—all construed as coping strategies that backfire.
  • Suicidal states and self-defeating aspects of personality disorders.

    The author addresses the challenges of healing by reviewing strategies of emotion regulation as well as a wide range of sound treatment approaches. He concludes with a new chapter on the foundation of all healing: maintaining hope.

    This exceptionally comprehensive overview of a wide range of traumatic experiences, written in nontechnical language with extensive references to both classic and contemporary theoretical, clinical, and research literature, offers a uniquely useful guide for victims of trauma, their family members, and mental health care professionals alike.

  • Contents

    About the Author
    A Guide to Reading This Book
    Chapter 1. Trauma
    Chapter 2. Attachment
    Chapter 3. Emotion
    Chapter 4. Memory
    Chapter 5. Self
    Chapter 6. Relationships
    Chapter 7. Illness
    Chapter 8. Depression
    Chapter 9. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
    Chapter 10. Dissociative Disorders
    Chapter 11. Self-Destructiveness
    Part IV: HEALING
    Chapter 12. Emotion Regulation
    Chapter 13. Treatment Approaches
    Chapter 14. Hope
    Suggested Readings

    About the Authors

    Jon G. Allen, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Baylor College of Medicine, and Senior Staff Psychologist at The Menninger Clinic.

    Dr. Allen's understanding of the causes and effects of trauma, the detritus of the comorbid and ancillary difficulties that lie in its wake, and the potential for healing based on current approaches and new ones on the horizon make this volume a veritable treasure trove of state-of-the-art information and clinical wisdom . . . . This brilliant and compelling book leaves me feeling hopeful about the possibility for growth and generativity for those who have sustained trauma-and inspired by what contemporary psychiatry also offers to help them flourish.—From the Foreword by Kathryn J. Zerbe, M.D.

    This is a triumphant second edition for the best introduction to one of the most important topics in mental health. Allen's sophistication and grasp of an area of enormous complexity is matched only by his ability to communicate the depth of his understanding in an incisive, economical, and crystal clear way. The book is a remarkable feat of creative integration. It is quite simply the best book for presenting current ideas on trauma to anyone, from the intelligent lay reader to the student clinician to the most sophisticated practitioner.—Peter Fonagy, Ph.D., F.B.A., Freud Mem Prof Psychoanalysis & Director, Sub-Dept Clin Health Psychology, Univ Coll London; Chief Exec, Anna Freud Centre; Consultant, Dept Psychiatry, Baylor Coll Med

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