Recommended 
Books

When helping professionals, those who have suffered trauma and the public at large understand the science behind the symptoms, victim blaming and shame can cease and proper treatment and healing can occur.

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The Betrayal Bond

Patrick J. Carnes, Ph.D.

Exploitive relationships can create trauma bonds–chains that link a victim to someone who is dangerous to them. Divorce, employee relations, litigation of any type, incest and child abuse, family and marital systems, domestic violence, hostage negotiations, kidnapping, professional exploitation and religious abuse are all areas of trauma bonding. All these relationships share one thing: they are situations of incredible intensity or importance where there is an exploitation of trust or power.

In The Betrayal Bond Patrick Carnes presents an in-depth study of these relationships, why they form, who is most susceptible, and how they become so powerful. He shows how to recognize when traumatic bonding has occurred and gives a checklist for examining relationships. He then provides steps to safely extricate from these relationships.

This is a book you will turn to again and again for inspiration and insight, while professionals will find it an invaluable reference work.

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The Body Keeps the Score

Bessel van der Kolk, M.D.

Trauma is a fact of life. Veterans and their families deal with the painful aftermath of combat; one in five Americans has been molested; one in four grew up with alcoholics; one in three couples have engaged in physical violence. Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, one of the world’s foremost experts on trauma, has spent over three decades working with survivors. In The Body Keeps the Score, he uses recent scientific advances to show how trauma literally reshapes both body and brain, compromising sufferers’ capacities for pleasure, engagement, self-control, and trust. He explores innovative treatments—from neurofeedback and meditation to sports, drama, and yoga—that offer new paths to recovery by activating the brain’s natural neuroplasticity. Based on Dr. van der Kolk’s own research and that of other leading specialists, The Body Keeps the Score exposes the tremendous power of our relationships both to hurt and to heal—and offers new hope for reclaiming lives.

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The Body Keeps the Score

The Body Never Lies

Alice Miller, Ph.D.

Never before has world-renowned psychoanalyst Alice Miller examined so persuasively the long-range consequences of childhood abuse on the body. Using the experiences of her patients along with the biographical stories of literary giants such as Virginia Woolf, Franz Kafka, and Marcel Proust, Miller shows how a child’s humiliation, impotence, and bottled rage will manifest itself as adult illness―be it cancer, stroke, or other debilitating diseases. Never one to shy away from controversy, Miller urges society as a whole to jettison its belief in the Fourth Commandment and not to extend forgiveness to parents whose tyrannical childrearing methods have resulted in unhappy, and often ruined, adult lives. In this empowering work, writes Rutgers professor Philip Greven, “readers will learn how to confront the overt and covert traumas of their own childhoods with the enlightened guidance of Alice Miller.”

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Brainspotting

David Grand, Ph.D.

Brain-based therapy is the fastest-growing area in the field of psychological health because it has proven that it can immediately address issues that talk therapy can take years to heal. Now Dr. David Grand presents the next leap forward in psychological care—combining the strengths of brain-based and talk therapies into a powerful technique he calls Brainspotting. In Brainspotting, Dr. Grand reveals the key insight that allowed him to develop this revolutionary therapeutic tool: that where we look reveals critical information about what’s going on in our brain.

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The Brain That Changes Itself

Norman Doidge, M.D.

An astonishing new science called “neuroplasticity” is overthrowing the centuries-old notion that the human brain is immutable. In this revolutionary look at the brain, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Norman Doidge, M.D., provides an introduction to both the brilliant scientists championing neuroplasticity and the people whose lives they’ve transformed. From stroke patients learning to speak again to the remarkable case of a woman born with half a brain that rewired itself to work as a whole, The Brain That Changes Itself will permanently alter the way we look at our brains, human nature, and human potential.

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The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge, M.D.

Dancing Mindfulness: A Creative Path to Healing and Transformation

Jamie Marich, PhD, LPCC-S

Experiment. Explore. Awaken your potential for wellness through meditative movement.

“This … is an invitation and a portal into the practice of dance and movement as meditation. All bodies are welcome and all abilities. Anyone can dance, although many of us hold back because we don’t look like dancers or because we have physical limitations. But I am willing to bet that most of you holding this book have touched a moment of transcendence or freedom in an experience of dance that leads you to explore deeper. You have a worthy guide in your hands.”
from the Foreword

Using theory and step-by-step exercises, dancer and clinical counselor Dr. Jamie Marich expertly guides you through seven primary elements of mindfulness in motion: breath, sound, body, story, mind, spirit and fusion. By dancing through these seven elements, either in personal practice or in a group, you will be better able to:

  • Access your body’s own healing resources through informal dance
  • Realize the transformative power of your personal creativity
  • Strengthen your abilities to exercise non-judgment, patience, a sense of play, trust, acceptance and letting go
  • Practice mindfulness even if you have struggled with traditional sitting meditation
  • Share healing dances with others to build on your own strengths, resources and experiences
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The Drama of the Gifted Child

Alice Miller, Ph.D.

Why are many of the most successful people plagued by feelings of emptiness and alienation? This wise and profound book has provided thousands of readers with an answer—and has helped them to apply it to their own lives. Far too many of us had to learn as children to hide our own feelings, needs, and memories skillfully in order to meet our parents’ expectations and win their “love”. Alice Miller writes,  “When I used the word ‘gifted’ in the title, I had in mind neither children who receive high grades in school nor children talented in a special way. I simply meant all of us who have survived an abusive childhood thanks to an ability to adapt even to unspeakable cruelty by becoming numb… Without this ‘gift’ offered us by nature, we would not have survived.” But merely surviving is not enough. The Drama of the Gifted Child helps us to reclaim our life by discovering our own crucial needs and our own truth.

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EMDR: The breakthrough “eye movement” therapy for overcoming stress, anxiety, and trauma.

Francine Shapiro, PhD & Margot Silk Forrest

Hailed as the most important method to emerge in psychotherapy in decades, EMDR has successfully treated psychological problems and illnesses in more than one million sufferers worldwide, with a rapidity that defies belief. In a new introduction, Shapiro presents the new applications of this remarkable therapy and the latest scientific research that demonstrates its efficacy.

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Getting Past Your Past: Take Control of Your Life with Self-Help Techniques from EMDR Therapy

Francine Shapiro

A totally accessible user’s guide from the creator of a scientifically proven form of psychotherapy that has successfully treated millions of people worldwide.

Whether we’ve experienced small setbacks or major traumas, we are all influenced by memories and experiences we may not remember or don’t fully understand. Getting Past Your Past offers practical procedures that demystify the human condition and empower readers looking to achieve real change.

Shapiro, the creator of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), explains how our personalities develop and why we become trapped into feeling, believing and acting in ways that don’t serve us. Through detailed examples and exercises readers will learn to understand themselves, and why the people in their lives act the way they do. Most importantly, readers will also learn techniques to improve their relationships, break through emotional barriers, overcome limitations and excel in ways taught to Olympic athletes, successful executives and performers.

An easy conversational style, humor and fascinating real life stories make it simple to understand the brain science, why we get stuck in various ways and what to do about it. Don’t let yourself be run by unconscious and automatic reactions. Read the reviews below from award winners, researchers, academics and best selling authors to learn how to take control of your life.

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How Are You Feeling Today Baby Bear?: Exploring Big Feelings After Living in a Stormy Home

Jane Evans, Illustrated by Lawrence Johnson

Baby Bear lives in a home with the Big Bears, and loves to chase butterflies and make mud pies – they make Baby Bear’s tummy fill with sunshine. Then, one night, Baby Bear hears a big storm downstairs in the house and in the morning, Baby Bear’s tummy starts to feel grey and rainy. How will such a small bear cope with these big new feelings?

This sensitive, charming storybook is written to help children who have lived with violence at home to begin to explore and name their feelings. Accompanied by notes for adults on how to use each page of the story to start conversations, it also features fun games and activities to help to understand and express difficult emotions. It will be a useful book for social workers, counsellors, domestic violence workers and all grown-ups working with children.

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I love a man in uniform: A memoir of love, war, and other battles

Lily Burana

In this brave, eloquent, and funny memoir, critically acclaimed author Lily Burana writes about love and self-discovery with an honesty few writers would dare. 

A former stripper with a penchant for fishnets and anarchist politics, Lily’s lacerating wit and rebellious past never would have suggested a marriage into the military. But then she met Major Mike, a Military Intelligence officer and professor at West Point, and fell hopelessly in love, resulting in a most unorthodox fairytale romance – poignant, sometimes painful, and utterly unpredictable. 

After Lily and Mike tied the knot, life as an Army wife proved to be a rough adjustment for authority-averse Lily. When Mike was deployed in the War on Terror, Lily was suddenly left to endure his absence alone, with no friends, no support system, and no knowledge of the vast and confusing military world into which she had married. 

Upon Mike’s return from the war, the couple moved to historic West Point. With the support of the other military wives, Lily worked through the daily struggle to find her way and came to know and love a group of unlikely friends. Together, Mike and Lily suffered through the nightmare of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, while Lily suffered bouts of depression that nearly ended their marriage. Through it all, Lily struggled with her preconceptions about the military and coped with being married to a good soldier fighting a brutal war.

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Overcoming Trauma through Yoga

David Emerson and Elizabeth Hopper, Ph.D.

Survivors of trauma—whether abuse, accidents, or war—can end up profoundly wounded, betrayed by their bodies that failed to get them to safety and that are a source of pain. In order to fully heal from trauma, a connection must be made with oneself, including one’s body. The trauma-sensitive yoga described in this book moves beyond traditional talk therapies that focus on the mind, by bringing the body actively into the healing process. This allows trauma survivors to cultivate a more positive relationship to their body through gentle breath, mindfulness, and movement practices.

Overcoming Trauma through Yoga is a book for survivors, clinicians, and yoga instructors who are interested in mind/body healing. It introduces trauma-sensitive yoga, a modified approach to yoga developed in collaboration between yoga teachers and clinicians at the Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute, led by yoga teacher David Emerson, along with medical doctor Bessel van der Kolk. The book begins with an in-depth description of trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), including a description of how trauma is held in the body and the need for body-based treatment. It offers a brief history of yoga, describes various styles of yoga commonly found in Western practice, and identifies four key themes of trauma-sensitive yoga. Chair-based exercises are described that can be incorporated into individual or group therapy, targeting specific treatment goals, and modifications are offered for mat-based yoga classes. Each exercise includes trauma-sensitive language to introduce the practice, as well as photographs to illustrate the poses. The practices have been offered to a wide range of individuals and groups, including men and women, teens, returning veterans, and others. Rounded out by valuable quotes and case stories, the book presents mindfulness, breathing, and yoga exercises that can be used by home practitioners, yoga teachers, and therapists as a way to cultivate awareness, tolerance, and an increased acceptance of the self.

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Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome: One Woman’s Desperate, Funny, and Healing Journey to Explore 30 Religions by Her 30th Birthday


Reba Riley

An important inspirational debut, Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome is much more than a memoir about reclaiming faith and overcoming chronic illness. Written with humor and personality, it tackles the universal struggle to heal what life has broken. This is a book for questioners, doubters, misfits, and seekers of all faiths; for the spiritual, the religious, and the curious.

Reba Riley’s twenty-ninth year was a terrible time to undertake a spiritual quest. But when untreatable chronic illness forced her to her metaphorical (and physical) derriere on her birthday, Reba realized that even if she couldn’t fix her body, she might be able to heal her injured spirit.

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Take Back Your Life

Janja Lalich, Ph.D., and Madeleine Tobias

Cult victims and those who have suffered abusive relationships often suffer from fear, confusion, low self-esteem, and post-traumatic stress. Take Back Your Life explains the seductive draw that leads people into such situations, provides guidelines for assessing what happened, and hands-on tools for getting back on track. Written for victims, their families, and professionals, this book leads readers through the healing process.

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Tapping In: A Step-by-Step Guide to Activating Your Healing Resources Through Bilateral Stimulation

Laurel Parnell

Never has it been so effortless to activate your inner power and resilience than with the remarkable technique known as “resource tapping.” Tapping In makes available for the first time a self-guided program for learning this revolutionary EMDR-related method.

With step-by-step instruction in bilateral stimulation (a core component of EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), Tapping In teaches you a clinically recognized system for tapping both sides of the body to overcome trauma, boost confidence, calm the body on a deep, physiological level, and to respond better to stress.

Join world-renowned EMDR expert Dr. Laurel Parnell as she shares a series of easy-to-learn exercises to access your “latent positive resources”―your neurological foundation for internal resilience and stability.

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Trauma and Recovery

Judith Herman, M.D.

When Trauma and Recovery was first published in 1992, it was hailed as a groundbreaking work. In the intervening years, Herman’s volume has changed the way we think about and treat traumatic events and trauma victims. In a new afterword, Herman chronicles the incredible response the book has elicited and explains how the issues surrounding the topic have shifted within the clinical community and the culture at large. Trauma and Recovery brings a new level of understanding to a set of problems usually considered individually. Herman draws on her own cutting-edge research in domestic violence as well as on the vast literature of combat veterans and victims of political terror, to show the parallels between private terrors such as rape and public traumas such as terrorism. The book puts individual experience in a broader political frame, arguing that psychological trauma can be understood only in a social context. Meticulously documented and frequently using the victims’ own words as well as those from classic literary works and prison diaries, Trauma and Recovery is a powerful work that will continue to profoundly impact our thinking.

 

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The Trauma Spectrum: Hidden wounds and human resiliency

Robert Scaer

Our experiences of trauma sow the seeds of many persistent and misunderstood medical problems such as chronic fatigue syndrome and various maladies of the immune system. Because of our inadequate understanding of the relationship of mind and body in processing these traumas, many of us suffer needlessly from our exposure to life’s traumas. Robert Scaer offers hope to those who wish to transform trauma and better understand their lives.

 

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The Trauma Toolkit: Healing trauma from the inside out

Susan Pease Banitt LCSW

In 2010 the Department of Veterans Affairs cited 171,423 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans diagnosed with PTSD, out of 593,634 total patients treated. That’s almost 30 percent; other statistics show 35 percent. Nor, of course, is PTSD limited to the military. In twenty years as a therapist, Susan Pease Banitt has treated trauma in patients ranging from autistic children to women with breast cancer; from underage sex slaves to adults incapacitated by early childhood abuse. Doctors she interviewed in New York report that, even before 9/11, most of their patients had experienced such extreme stress that they had suffered physical and mental breakdowns. Those doctors agree with Pease Banitt that stress is the disease of our times. At the 2009 Evolution of Psychotherapy conference Jack Kornfield noted, “We need a trauma tool kit.” Here it is.

 

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Trauma Made Simple

Jamie Marich PhD

In Trauma Made Simple, trauma expert Dr. Jamie Marich brings her practical style of training to print, using clinical common sense to wade through theory, research, and hype surrounding trauma. Learn about trauma in a way that is relevant to clinical work, including extensive coverage on PTSD and other diagnoses through a bio-psycho-social-spiritual lens. Make clinically informed decisions based on setting, client preparedness, and other contextual variables. Develop strategies for treatment planning based on the best possible treatments in the field today.

 

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Waking The Tiger: Healing Trauma

Peter A. Levine, Ph.D.

Waking the Tiger offers a new and hopeful vision of trauma. It views the human animal as a unique being, endowed with an instinctual capacity. It asks and answers an intriguing question: why are animals in the wild, though threatened routinely, rarely traumatized? By understanding the dynamics that make wild animals virtually immune to traumatic symptoms, the mystery of human trauma is revealed.

Waking the Tiger normalizes the symptoms of trauma and the steps needed to heal them. People are often traumatized by seemingly ordinary experiences. The reader is taken on a guided tour of the subtle, yet powerful impulses that govern our responses to overwhelming life events. To do this, it employs a series of exercises that help us focus on bodily sensations. Through heightened awareness of these sensations trauma can be healed.

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Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men

Lundy Bancroft, Ph.D.

In this groundbreaking bestseller, Lundy Bancroft—a counselor who specializes in working with abusive men—uses his knowledge about how abusers think to help women recognize when they are being controlled or devalued in a relationship, and to find ways to get free of abuse.

He says he loves you. So…why does he do that?
 
You’ve asked yourself this question again and again. Now you have the chance to see inside the minds of angry and controlling men—and change your life. In Why Does He Do That? you will learn about:

• The early warning signs of abuse
• The nature of abusive thinking
• Myths about abusers
• Ten abusive personality types
• The role of drugs and alcohol
• What you can fix, and what you can’t
• And how to get out of an abusive relationship safely

“This is without a doubt the most informative and useful book yet written on the subject of abusive men. Women who are armed with the insights found in these pages will be on the road to recovering control of their lives.”—Jay G. Silverman, Ph.D., Director, Violence Prevention Programs, Harvard School of Public Health

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You Can Help: A Guide for Family & Friends of Survivors of Sexual Abuse and Assault

Rebecca Street

You Can Help offers concrete tools to family and friends who wish to participate in the healing process of someone who has been sexually victimized. In Part One, the author chronicles her own journey to recovery while providing pragmatic advice and essential data from numerous experts in the field. Each chapter is followed by “Five Practical Tips.”

Part Two is comprised of inspirational stories by 19 other survivors of both abuse and assault (8 men and 11 women) who share what was most helpful and hurtful in their own recoveries. Besides empowering family and friends, You Can Help is a valuable asset for arming survivors in their battle against shame and is an important educational resource for professionals who work with trauma.

You Can Help enables readers to:

(1) BREAK THE SILENCE (silence is the biggest obstacle to recovery)

(2) LEARN about the complex consequences of sexual trauma, including PTSD

(3) ASSIST SURVIVORS in regaining trust, confidence, and joy.

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