“The director of one of the world’s premier training institutes for treating and understanding traumatic stress has co-authored a vital and timely message to survivors of trauma with the writing of What is PTSD: 3 Steps to Healing Trauma. This practical and eminently readable book provides the reader with a simple understanding of PTSD that is underpinned by the best and most current science without even a trace of a musty, professorial tone anywhere. The outlining of clear, concise, and specific tasks—most of which are derived from evidence-based clinical practices—empowers survivors to begin and accelerate their healing of their traumatic stress.
Maybe the best part of What is PTSD is the immediate and friendly tone of the writing. The reader cannot help but notice that these writers care about them and are extending the activities in this book as an expression of their commitment to service and they manage to complete this formidable task without naiveté, infantilism or evangelism. Steady, clear, authoritative direction for trauma survivors (and those that treat them!) to help them successfully navigate the haunted-house maze of posttraumatic stress. This book is heartily recommended to anyone who has or has ever had PTSD, their family members and their therapists.”
~ J. Eric Gentry, PhD
Vice President International Association of Trauma Professionals
“Baranowsky (a psychologist) and Lauer (a psychotherapist) wrote this remarkable book for those who’ve experienced trauma. In clear and uncluttered language they explore 3 steps to healing trauma: finding comfort and ensuring safety; remembering the trauma and integrating it into one’s life story; and moving forward with life. In each of the three steps, the authors include a number of exercises for identifying triggers, enhancing self-soothing, coping with symptoms of re-experiencing, avoidance, and hyperarousal, and the tentative, worrisome steps associated with beginning to trust your own “wise counsel” again.
The book’s richness is enhanced by “recovery stories” of real life people with whom the authors have worked, links to a website containing additional forms/exercises and audiovisual resources, and discussion of the “traumagram exercise” (which provides a visual representation of intergenerational traumas that may be adversely affecting one’s life and impeding treatment). Leaving no stone unturned, Baranowsky and Lauer also explore the impact of unbidden, frightening trauma symptoms on family members (e.g., spouses/partners and children), friends, employers, and teachers.
The authors thoughtful, engaging writing style leaves one with the impression of personally interacting with a skilled experienced clinician. As such, “What is PTSD? 3 Steps to Healing Trauma” is an indispensible guide for those who’ve been traumatized, their family and friends. Psychotherapists will also find this book to be a useful resource in treating those who’ve suffered trauma.”
~ Stephen Fleming, PhD., C. Psych.
Professor, Department of Psychology Faculty of Health
“What Is PTSD: 3 Steps to Healing Trauma is a reassuring reminder for individuals, their spouses and family members that they needn’t suffer in silence. Teresa and Anna are compassionate healers who truly understand what trauma survivors are going through and offer effective steps to help them reclaim their lives and begin living again!
~ Sheila Kreifels, LMFT
Owner, In Transition Counseling
San Jose, CA
“I learned about family trauma and that I am a produce of the traumas suffered by generations of my family. Once I understood this, it was as if the fog had lifted and I was able to begin the work I knew I had to do in order not to pass it along to my children … and theirs.”
~ Diana, Trauma Survivor (Domestic Violence)
“The greatest strength of this workbook is that it gives power back to victims. The book is the bridge that I have been looking for, an incredibly powerful tool that allows those impacted by trauma to gain understanding and mastery over the pervasive and intrusive symptoms that are the signature of PTSD.
Through reading and completing the exercises in this educational, factual and easy to understand workbook, individuals suffering the impact of PTSD will begin to feel an integrated sense of control. This book is designed to validate and support a healing journey on the path to self –regulation. As owner of Counsellor Exchange I highly recommend this book and will be encouraging our member therapists working with trauma victims to use it. It will be part of my toolkit for sure! Thank you Anna and Teresa.”
~ Trish Stenson MSW, RSW, CEC, BCETS
Owner, Counsellor Exchange, Inc.
This book is sorely needed and I know will benefit many. I will heartedly recommend it especially to my professional friends who can benefit and who can recommend it to clients.
~ Cathy Kraus, Compassion Fatigue Specialist
“What Is PTSD: 3 Steps to Healing Trauma speaks to the “gentle healing” that can benefit all survivors; the exercises were especially helpful for me to begin accepting my trauma and moving forward.”
~ Dan, Trauma Survivor (Auto Accident)
Our military does so very much for our nation and the world as they serve in war zone after war zone and routinely neglect their own needs. They come to the aid of others even when they are in personal conflict and devastating circumstances themselves until sometimes it is too late even for them to survive. However, it is never too late for us to seek out help, encouragement, and professional care for those who have served us for years, and chosen to walk the path of international conflict.
They serve day in and day out, being exposed to the worst conflicts of our world and the mind numbing incidents that they are challenged with at our behest. They find themselves burying one layer after another of the worst thoughts and mental images that the human mind can conceive or be exposed to, without having the opportunity to understand the effect that action has on them or their loved ones… That is why “What Is PTSD? 3 Steps to Healing Trauma” must be read by one and all for the benefit and true understanding of our nation’s warriors and the emotional combat they face upon their return back to us- to a life we all must support with understanding compassion. Our efforts can and will hold them back from the edge of destructive behaviors, alcoholism, suicide, divorce, and so many other subsequent negative affects of their service. I would greatly encourage all who care about this open wound in their world to step up and help them as they have stepped up for us. I would without hesitation recommend “What Is PTSD? 3 Steps to Healing Trauma”, authored by Dr. Anna Baranowsky and Teresa Lauer, LMHC.
Please read this book… The world needs these healing insights, knowledge, and skills, and they deserve more than just coming home to find they are alone…
~ Robert R. Rail “Surviving the International War Zone”
“What Is PTSD?” answers the question succinctly with a summary of the condition and a detailing of many therapeutic activities. The authors have drawn on their training and experiences with clients to write a book that reads like a professionally trained friend educating you about PTSD. This book does not give a dry, exhaustive academic exploration of PTSD but rather provides enough information to keep you engaged with the subject while using short stories of real clients to demonstrate the many useful points.
People working with the bereaved, especially Funeral Directors, will find the insights in “What Is PTSD?” useful both professionally and personally. As I read and learned about PTSD I was struck by similarities with what I had learned about bereavement. Many times I thought the word “bereavement” could be substituted for “trauma” making points in the book useful for understanding and working with the bereaved. For example the Polvygal Theory describing how people can numb out or shut down “like a deer in the headlights” is a situation I have witnessed in clients many times over the last 30 years as we have made funeral arrangements together. Learning about gentle social cues that can help to lift “that cloak of numbness” was a revelation both about what I currently do, and can do, to be of further assistance to my clients.
As the book is obviously written primarily for individuals who have had trauma in their lives for “self help” I strongly recommend “What Is PTSD?” as a resource in the lending library of anyone who works in mental health related fields. For Funeral Directors in particular, the book could be offered as part of a formal or informal Aftercare Program with select clients. At the same time, anyone working with the bereaved would benefit from the personal growth available through the clear and intuitive explanations and exercises for understanding and growing through a complex subject in “What Is PTSD?”
~ Richard J. Paul, B.A., B.Ed., Licensed Funeral Director, Certified Death Educator
Share Your Story
We know that no one else can answer the question “What is PTSD?” better than someone who has experienced and recovered from trauma.
We believe that the Recovery Stories found in our book are an essential part of healing and that sharing and reading about trauma recovery can be an incredible gift.
We would like to invite you to share your personal recovery story of healing from trauma either in written or video form. Use the Share Your Story button on the left to submit your story for our review.
And remember, there is help if you need it; you are not alone. Best wishes on your healing journey!