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For survivors of PTSD and repeated, relational trauma -- and the people who love them.
Gretchen Schmelzer watched too many people quit during treatment for trauma recovery. They found it too difficult or too frightening or just decided that for them it was too late. But as a therapist and trauma survivor herself, Dr. Schmelzer wants us to know that it is never too late to heal from trauma, whether it is the suffering caused within an abusive relationship or PTSD resulting from combat. Sometimes what feels like a big setback is actually an unexpected difficult step forward. So she wrote Journey Through Trauma specifically for survivors--to help them understand the terrain of the healing process and stay on the path.
There are three basic principles that every trauma survivor should know: Healing is possible. It requires courage. And it cannot be done alone. Traumas that happen more than once--child abuse, sexual abuse, domestic violence, gang violence, even war--are all relational traumas. They happened inside a relationship and therefore must be healed inside a relationship, whether that relationship is with a therapist or within a group.
Journey Through Trauma gives us a map to help guide us through that healing process, see where the hard parts show up, and persevere in the process of getting well. We learn the five phases that every survivor must negotiate along the way and come to understand that since the cycle of healing is not linear, circling back around to a previous stage does not mean defeat - it actually means progress as well as facing new challenges.
Authoritative and accessible, Journey Through Trauma provides support for survivors and their loved ones through one of the most challenging but necessary processes of healing that anyone can face.
About the Author
Gretchen Schmelzer, PhD, is a licensed psychologist, trained as a Harvard Medical School Fellow. She is a trauma survivor who has worked for twenty-five years with the complex issues of trauma, integration, and behavior change across every level, from individuals to groups to large systems and countries. She has worked with individuals and groups in large clinics and clinics in housing projects, in residential treatment facilities, in psychiatric units and medical hospital units, and in private practice. She has more than a decade of experience working with traumatized children and adolescents in residential treatment and psychiatric units. She is the founder and editor of The Trail Guide, a web-mag featured on www.gretchenschmelzer.com dedicated to healing repeated trauma.
“This Harvard-trained psychologist has some shrewd observations, including the reminder that “repeated trauma is about both what did happen and what didn’t happen” (in other words, “the normal developmental growth that would have taken place during the years that the trauma was occurring.”)”
—The New York Times
“With vast personal and professional experience, Gretchen Schmeltzer provides a thoughtful, compassionate trail guide for trauma survivors in recovery. A keen scholar and talented clinician with broad individual and systems "know-how", she gives us a book unique in helping health workers, survivors and families to understand not only the different types of trauma, but, more importantly, the diversity in experiences and ways of coping. Must reading!”
—Barbara F. Okun, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Northeastern University
“This is a one of the most helpful and hopeful books I have read during my own journey of healing trauma. Gretchen Schmelzer gives us a clear road map and gentle encouragement to stay on path and do the hard, but necessary, work to integrate the past so we can embrace the future.”
—Lea Waters, Ph.D., Psychologist and President of the International Positive Psychology Association and author of The Strength Switch