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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Nasri Jacir, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: The author offers a psychotherapeutic paradigm of looking at trauma. His work is mainly targeted at dealing with war trauma, but it can also be extended to apply to rather conventional psychotherapy.
Purpose: The book does not use the most rigorous of methods in stating its case, but through the presentation of various clinical cases, the author offers a pseudo-scientific way of looking at the uncharted field of the psychology of war and conflict. The book is primarily directed at helping the clinician working with patients from war-torn areas. Although the clinical material is mostly from post-World War II Europe, the methods, as the author points out, might well benefit people in most of the world's hot spots.
Audience: The book is appropriate for the experienced therapist as well as the layperson. Its case presentations are fascinating to read and might be interesting to anyone with a specific interest in the topic.
Features: Most of the clinical cases are engrossing and really involve the reader. Emphasis is given to the need for obtaining historical and autobiographical information when interviewing patients. The author successfully demonstrates how such information can help uncover painful traumatic war memories and how such insight can be central to any therapy. Concepts such as parallel processing and sculpting are interesting and seem to contribute to this paradigm.
Assessment: This book provides a new dimension of looking at the psychiatric patient. In the aftermath of the terror attacks in New York, it will probably be an important starting point for a field that has not been thoroughly studied.