Therapy After Terror: 9/11, Psychotherapists, and Mental Health / Edition 1

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $15.92
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 68%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (11) from $15.92   
  • New (6) from $16.94   
  • Used (5) from $15.92   


"Therapy after Terror examines the impact of the 2001 World Trade Center attack on mental health professionals in New York, and on the field of mental health. The events of 9/11 quickly were identified as an unprecedented public mental health crisis, and urgent demands for psychological treatment ensued. In response, thousands of mental health professionals volunteered their services on the scene, while uncounted others provided treatment in their regular clinical settings. Yet few mental health professionals were experienced in assisting survivors of trauma, let alone of a violent catastrophe of this magnitude. Moreover, like other New Yorkers, many therapists were 9/11 victims themselves, if only indirectly." In addition, Therapy after Terror investigates the social and political dimensions of mental health concepts and practices. Critically analyzing shifting notions of trauma, the subjective aspects of psychiatric diagnosis, the increasing medicalization of behavior, and the state's management of the national mood, this book raises questions concerning the politics of psychotherapy after 9/11.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A licensed, clinical social worker, Seeley (anthropology, Columbia Univ.) offers a riveting, comprehensive examination of the work and experiences of psychotherapists following 9/11. [...] At the heart of the book is Seeley's discussion of "trauma contagion", a phenomenon she distinguishes from vicarious trauma. [...] Integrating health treatment, theory, and ethics, this is a valuable resource for policymakers as well as students and practitioners. Highly recommended..."
--A.N. Douglas, Mount Holyoke College, CHOICE, Vol. 46 No. 03

"...Seeley dissects the events of 9/11 and subsequent developments and provides an articulate accounting of our successes and failures in the psychological response...This unprecedented volume will be a benefit to all mental health providers and transcends issues related to specific mental health professions (i.e., psychology, psychiatry, and social work). Therapy After Terror should be required reading for anyone considering trauma work, individuals who are in positions to make mental health policy, and those who have volunteered their services to groups who maintain preparedness to respond to national emergencies and disasters."
--Carrie H. Kennedy, PsycCRITIQUES (February 18, 2009, Vol. 54, Release 7, Article 5)

"Therapy After Terror is a well-written, well-documented, insightful review of what happened to mental health practitioners in New York City immediately following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and its continuing effects on their patients, themselves, and their profession..."
--JAMA, Osalind D. Cartwright, PhD (Emeritus), Rush University Medical Center

"...Those who regularly treat people experiencing trauma, this book will expand ongoing debates in the field with the extraordinary backdrop of 9/11 view. For those who don't treat trauma survivors but who tempted to help with the next disaster, this book will cause them to consider whether they have relevant training to be helpful as a therapist in a disaster."
--Psychiatric Services, Dr. Adams, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Maryland

"...This volume provides an excellent overview of how psychotherapists in New York City dealt with the trauma of 9/11 through their attempts to help the patients who sought help for their emotional trauma... it raises important and intriguing issues concerning the medicalization and privatization of a massive collective trauma."
--Hoyle Leigh, MD, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, Journal of Clinical Psychiatry

"The author's use of interviews, historical material, and superb critical analysis makes this book a must-read for anyone interested in studying the effects of a traumatic events on large-scale populations."
--Irene Javors, Yeshiva University, Journal of Anthropological Research

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521884228
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 4/30/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 252
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Karen M. Seeley's interests lie at the intersection of psychology and anthropology. She is a Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at Columbia University, where she teaches courses on culture and mental health, trauma, disaster, and psychological anthropology, and she teaches cultural psychology in the Psychology Department at Barnard College. She is also a psychotherapist with a private practice in New York City. She has a Master's in education from Harvard University, a Master's in social work from New York University, and a Ph.D. in education from the University of Pennsylvania, specializing in cultural psychology. Dr Seeley's interdisciplinary training informs her approach to mental health. She has brought anthropological perspectives on culture, society, and power to bear on clinical practice, and has critically investigated western theories of mental health, the culture of psychological clinics, and the dynamics of intercultural psychological treatments. She also has developed new modes of ethnographic inquiry that foreground cultural material in intercultural clinical encounters. Dr Seeley writes, lectures, and consults on culture and mental health. She is the author of Cultural Psychotherapy: Working with Culture in the Clinical Encounter. In addition, she has published articles in a number of journals, including Social Work, the Psychoanalytic Review, and Psychotherapy and Politics International.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 Trauma Histories 10

2 Volunteers for America 39

3 "Get Me Counselors!" 61

4 The Psychological Treatment of Trauma 80

5 The Trauma of Psychological Treatment 101

6 Diagnosing Posttraumatic Stress Disorder 125

7 Trauma as Metaphor 147

8 Mental Health in Traumatic Times 168

Notes 197

Works Cited 213

Index 233

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)