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Survivors of torture and other human-rights violations from the former Yugoslavia, Turkey, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and other regions require medical, social, and psychotherapeutic assistance. Unfortunately, torture survivors often meet with silence and disbelief from others—a profound unwillingness to confront the reality of their suffering. The very nature of torture, which destroys the dignity and well-being of its victims, often makes survivors themselves doubt this reality: as a result, they feel completely alone and may no longer believe in the possibility of human communication.
Available for the first time in English, At the Side of Torture Survivors provides an intimate portrait of the difficulties facing torture survivors and the therapists who strive to help them. Written by specialists at the Berlin Center for the Treatment of Torture Victims, the book covers topics ranging from physical rehabilitation to advocacy for those seeking asylum and justice. The authors describe traumatic aftereffects of torture such as memory loss, nightmares, and psychosomatic disorders, and outline therapeutic treatments such as dream therapy and storytelling. Throughout, the authors document their work without hiding the limits and failures that often accompany it. They tell of the difficulty of diagnosing torture symptoms, discuss the problems impeding therapeutically effective contact with torture victims, and reflect on the burdens faced by therapists themselves.
|Publisher:||Johns Hopkins University Press|
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||6.20(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.97(d)|
About the Author
Sepp Graessner, M.D., is cofounder of the Berlin Center for the Treatment of Torture Victims and is in charge of forensics at the center. He has worked in private practice, emergency medicine, and tropical medicine. Norbert Gurris is a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist who worked for the Berlin Center for the Treatment of Torture Victims from 1992-1999. He has practiced in Berlin for more than twenty-five years. Christian Pross, M.D., is cofounder and medical director of the Berlin Center for the Treatment of Torture Victims. He is the author of Cleansing the Fatherland: Nazi Medicine and Racial Hygiene, and Paying for the Past: The Struggle over Reparations for Surviving Victims of the Nazi Terror, also available from Johns Hopkins.
Table of Contents
1 Foreign Bodies in the Soul
2 Psychic Trauma through Torture - Healing through Psychotherapy?
3 The Vestige of Pain: Psychosomatic Disorders among Survivors of Torture
4 "In My Fingertips I Don't Have a Soul Anymore": Physical Therapy with Survivors of Torture - Insights into Work with Concentrative Movement Therapy
5 Frozen Lake: Gestalt Therapy Dreamwork with Torture Victims
6 The Healing Power of Storytelling: Learning from Scheherazade
7 "Every Perpetrator's Acquittal Costs Me Two Weeks' Sleep": How Societies and Individuals Cope withTrauma as Illustrated by the German Democratic Republic
8 There, Where Words Fail, Tears Are the Bridge: Thoughts on Speechlessness in Working with Survivors of Torture
9 Two Hundred Blows to the Head: Possibilities and Limits in Evaluating the Physical Aftereffects of Torture
10 "Like a Drop of Water": Everyday Life for Asylum Seekers and Social Work with Survivors of Torture
11 Everything Forgotten! - Memory Disorders among Refugees Who Have Been Tortured
12 What Does This Work Do to Us?
What People are Saying About This
This book documents the experiences of a group of caregivers helping victims to learn to trust and love themselves and those around them. I commend it to all those who are involved in this important ministry.
From the Foreword by Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus
An engrossing and vivid account of difficult work done by a team of very dedicated professionals. Individuals interested in global human rights issues will want to read this book.
Francis Mark Mondimore, M.D., The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine