The second edition of Life After Trauma: A Workbook for Healing adopts a different perspective than most self-help books currently in circulation. The book’s fundamental points are those of basic human nature that allow the reader to cope with everyday struggles: the human need to feel safe, to trust others, to have control over one’s self and personal life, to feel worthy and recognize the worth of others, and finally, the human need for intimacy with others. Instead of dwelling on specific traumatic events that trigger reactions involving strong mental and physical changes, the reader is guided safely through the experience to the other side. This all-new approach allows one to work through the effects of the trauma without having to continue to relive the experience.
The workbook can be used independently or with the help of a mental health professional. Either way it is sure to have benefits. It is designed with the curative soothing of the reader in mind. Unlike most other therapeutic healing processes, the reader is never asked to relinquish their traumatic experience(s) or work through the pain of it to heal. Nor are they encouraged to use their arduous and distressing memories to overcome the past. This evasiveness allows readers to understand themselves fully as they explore their greatest mental health potential.
If traumatic memories surface while working through the exercises, users are encouraged to stop until they feel confident again in their recovery using the tools already provided to them. Step by step, readers are taught to recognize their own mind’s working mechanisms, how their thoughts physically affect them and how to know when a coping method is suitable.
Life After Trauma: A Workbook for Healing is extremely user-friendly, providing readers with all the background information and medical answers that may be needed to go through the different stages of recovery. Readers are given exactly what is needed to discover their true feelings, the complexity of the situations, why the reactions can be very deeply rooted, and how to change by creating a workable system to hinder falling back into the restraining control of the trauma.
One will learn an abundance of practically constructive and advantageous information from the workbook to use in a number of aspects in life to maintain their normalcy. This book is a highly beneficial guide, demonstrating individual coping strategies that build a safety net through supportive relationships and repairing the ever-important aspect of learning how to trust again. Once the reader is able to regain control in their life, they will work towards valuing themselves and others for what truly is, enabling them to feel close to others and the outside world once more.
Life After Trauma presents all the necessary tools to overcome past trauma to help restore a psychologically healthy and sound life. The workbook arms its readers with the self-esteem and confidence to handle issues that may come one’s way in everyday settings by giving long term strength through a person’s own capabilities of trust, safety, control, and ultimately, intimacy.
Life After Trauma: A Workbook for Healing
By Dena Rosenbloom, PhD and Mary Beth Williams, PhD
Guilford Press: Second edition March 2010
Paperback, 295 pages