Description: This rather interesting book proposes that serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia are better explained by past traumas and that the reliance on pharmacological treatment for these types of disorders has silenced patients from discussing these traumas.
Purpose: This book brings together a series of published papers from the Journal of Psychological Trauma to emphasize the importance of listening to our patients about past traumas and actually asking them about past traumas during evaluation. These worthy objectives are met.
Audience: It is intended for anyone in the mental health field, including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and graduate trainees. The contributing authors are credible, despite the opinionated nature of some of their comments on psychopharmacology and the pharmaceutical industry.
Features: This is not a typically structured book because it is a compilation of a series of articles copublished in a journal. It includes discussions on childhood trauma and psychosis, dissociation and psychosis, and auditory hallucinations, all of which stimulate readers' thinking about the underlying cause of these symptoms. The discussion of the connection between trauma and schizophrenia is heavily weighted toward psychoanalytic thought and is somewhat dated. The shortcoming of this book is the lack of balance between modern treatment and the authors' own personal views. These views detract from what is an otherwise stimulating discussion of a topic worthy of further exploration.
Assessment: This book is based on an interesting premise, but I am concerned about the path the authors have taken in terms of their own biases as well as the exploration of past theories and thoughts which may not be applicable.