Below are some resources on trauma and PTSD that we find have been helpful, both for our own journey’s and for our clients’. Feel free to peruse and discuss with your therapist in session!
The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D.
The author, Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk, is a world-renowned expert on trauma. His book examines the long-term impact that trauma can have on our minds, bodies, and even our biology. As many survivors know, unresolved trauma can have an impact on our current lives and relationships. Dr. Van Der Kolk’s book is the culmination of more than 30 years working with survivors, and finally addresses trauma recovery from biological, psychological and spiritual approaches. It forms the foundation of CTSA’s approach to trauma treatment, and is a guide for reclaiming our lives without drugs.
War and the Soul: Healing Our Nation’s Veterans from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder by Edward Tick, Ph.D.
Dr. Edward Tick is a veteran and therapist who writes from both personal and scientific perspectives on the impact of combat trauma on our veterans. He challenges readers to consider trauma as more than psychological, but a spiritual and moral injury as well. Of particular interest is his examination of the way Indigenous peoples have worked as a community to heal their warriors from combat trauma. Using ancient spiritual practices, Dr. Tick presents us with ways to nurture forgiveness and compassion for ourselves, as well as ways to support and heal our present-day warriors as a community.
Warrior’s Return: Restoring the Soul After War by Edward Tick, Ph.D.
Dr. Tick takes this book a step further in challenging us to think outside of conventional practices for working with combat veterans and healing the invisible wounds of war. Warrior’s Return draws insight from cross-cultural practices, ancient archetypes, classical philosophy, world religions, and mythology to rethink the way we welcome home our country’s warriors and help them heal. Edward Tick writes, “This is not a hopeless situation. Lifelong suffering after war is not inevitable if we understand war’s impact on the heart and soul, both for ourselves and our culture.” This book provides guidance to veterans and those who wish to support them on how to help veterans reintegrate back into society after war.
The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, 20th Anniversary Edition by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis
The Courage to Heal is a highly respected guide that maps the journey of recovery for women who faced sexual abuse as children. Ellen Bass and Laura Davis show us that healing is possible as they share both personal and professional experiences. Through countless stories shared by survivors, the authors weave together a path to move from victim to survivor. The 20th anniversary edition provides additional tools for healing, updates on survivors’ stories of recovery, and up-to-date research on trauma and the brain.
The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist’s Notebook–What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love, and Healing by Bruce Perry, M.D.
The author is a child psychiatrist who has worked with children who have faced the most unimaginable horrors and helped them find the strength and courage to heal. The author explains what happens to our brains when forced to endure physical, sexual, and emotional abuse as children, and provides some insightful strategies for rehabilitation. Dr. Perry provides us with a simple re-examination of how surroundings, affection, language, and touch can deeply impact the developing brains of children, and how we can use these things (are more) to heal the children we love.
Healing Trauma: A Pioneering Program for Restoring the Wisdom of Your Body by Peter Levine, M.D.
Research has demonstrated that survivors of trauma are more likely to experience a number of challenges, including anxiety, depression, unexplained physical pain, fatigue, illness, and harmful “acting out” behaviors that sometimes re-expose survivors to more trauma. Dr. Levine examines how to heal trauma from within the body, sharing insight from his Somatic Experiencing technique, how to develop body awareness, and “first-aid” strategies for dealing with emotional distress.
The Emotionally Absent Mother: How to Recognize and Heal the Invisible Effects of Childhood Emotional Neglect by Jasmin Lee Cori
If you feel your mother was emotionally unavailable growing up, The Emotionally Absent Mother is a must-read. Intimate relationships in later life can be especially challenging for those men and women who grew up lacking the nurturing and affection they needed as children. This book will help you identify what was missing from your childhood, how your mother may be repeating a cycle from her childhood, and how to fill this gap as an adult. Sidestepping the “blame game” altogether, Jasmin Lee Cori helps us find compassion for our mothers, find the healing we need, and cultivate the mothering we need from healthy relationships today.