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The Trauma Tool Kit: Healing PTSD from the Inside Out


The Trauma Tool Kit: Healing PTSD from the Inside Out Cover

ISBN13: 9780835608961
ISBN10: 0835608964
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Synopses & Reviews

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In 2010 the Department of Veterans Affairs cited 171,423 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans diagnosed with PTSD, out of 593,634 total patients treated. Thats almost 30 percent; other statistics show 35 percent. Nor, of course, is PTSD limited to the military. In twenty years as a therapist, Susan Pease Banitt has treated trauma in patients ranging from autistic children to women with breast cancer; from underage sex slaves to adults incapacitated by early childhood abuse. Doctors she interviewed in New York report that, even before 9/11, most of their patients had experienced such extreme stress that they had suffered physical and mental breakdowns. Those doctors agree with Pease Banitt that stress is the disease of our times. At the 2009 Evolution of Psychotherapy conference Jack Kornfield noted, “We need a trauma tool kit.” Here it is.

Most people, Pease Banitt says, experience trauma as a terminal blow to their deepest sense of self. Her techniques restore a sense of wholeness at the core level from which all healing springs. The uniqueness of her book lies in its diversity and accessibility. She assesses the values and limitations of traditional and alternative therapies and suggests methods that are universally available. Almost anybody can

About the Author

Susan Pease Banitt, LCSW is a Harvard-trained psychotherapist with over thirty years experience in mental health work. She has worked in a variety of settings with hundreds of diverse clients over the years, including: residential childcare, child abuse prevention, inpatient psychiatric hospitals, outpatient clinics, medical hospitals and private practice. Her clients have included individuals, couples and groups, including children as young as 3 years and adults into their 80s.

Since a very young age, Susan has been aware of her spiritual nature. After a Catholic upbringing, she spent her late twenties studying yoga and meditation and obtained her certification as a teacher of hatha yoga in her thirties. Over the years, Susan has come to see that traumatic stress and experiences are behind the vast majority of suffering in the mind and body.

Her gifts of empathy and intuition became fully engaged when she began formal work with a shaman in 2000. At the same time, she delved deeper into yogic philosophy through intensive study of Vedanta, ancient Indian spiritual wisdom. As a healed survivor who has taken a deep journey into early traumatic abuse, Susan acts as a compassionate guide for those struggling to free themselves from the effects of traumatic stress.

Because Susan has worked with so many gifted psychiatric and alternative practitioners, she has collected a large toolbox of interventions to offer clients and colleagues. Susan currently co-chairs the Mental Health Council for the National Association of Social Workers, Oregon chapter and sits on the board of Street Yoga, an organization that brings yoga techniques to disadvantaged youth in a variety of settings.

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All Capps, January 22, 2013 (view all comments by All Capps)
As I write this, I hesitate to give my full disclosure, [full disclosure: I work with Susan Pease Banitt] because I think some of you won't read my review, or will dismiss it. But I have read the book, and I do work for her, and I would not stay at a job I didn't in some way believe was for the sake of bettering the world.

As I write this, our world is falling apart.

Some reviews of The Trauma Tool Kit claim, "I know this already." But we all know this already. So then why does it seem no one is practicing it or heeding it? I'm guilty of this.

It's easy to read through this book, or even pass by this book, because we think: I don't have PTSD or I know that or That book's not for me. Or maybe we're deterred by the Self-Help section.

And yet, that's where we are in the world--having to help ourselves.

As I read the book, the revelation I had was twofold: First, I realized that I just might have suffered some trauma. I have been fortunate in the low degree of my trauma, but it has continued to affect me still to this day. And just taking that moment to think, and to look inside, has made a difference in how I see my past, how I live in the moment, and make plans for the future. It's this kind of meditation and thoughtfulness in our lives that should be able to keep us from the savage culture we are becoming--nay, have become. We live in a traumatic lifetime. I think back on the horrors of the recent past. Think about it. Think about the 20th century--that amazing time of innovation, progress, war. Do you think we do not still carry trauma? Every single one of us?

Which leads me to my second revelation: We must all commit to fixing this now. The final tool in the toolkit, Embracing Wholeness, summarized everything I had been thinking while reading the book. Not only do people who have been diagnosed with PTSD need to find help--the rest of us need to help prioritize providing this help. PTSD needs to jump into the limelight, and not in the way it's been discussed in mainstream media; that is no help to anyone. The conversation needs to be changed, and it needs to be louder and it needs to be broader. We cannot continue to ignore what is becoming an epidemic. Because every time another of our young men or women is deployed into battle, every time another woman is beaten or raped, every time a young boy is molested--and when each of these atrocities is lied about, covered up, and hushed--our world suffers and surrenders.

Look around us--soldiers who are supposed to be fighting for freedom are being tried for murder. And the people who send them there don't want anyone to talk about the PTSD they are diagnosed with.

Women are being raped, and instead of finding the rapist, we are blaming the victim.

Children are being shot in our schools. And the children who survived will suffer a great trauma.

And when our children see all of this happening, that merely perpetuates the problem.

The media use PTSD as a way to get ratings, then turn around and use the most sensational and traumatic video from war and terror.

Do we not see a cycle here? Do we not want to stop it?

In the book, Susan says:

"[P]ost-traumatic stress engenders profound changes in the physical body, not only in the victims but also in the victims' children and grandchildren, down [through] generations. The health problems that follow PTSD, both physical and emotional, affect our society in myriad ways: health-care costs; lost wages; lost productivity; crime; loss of intelligence (cognitive function); dysfunctional interactions that prevent problem resolution in marriages, businesses, and politics, etc. PTSD is a problem that snowballs with each succeeding generation. We have collectively had our heads in the sand about the issue. Now it is time to end the avoidance. PTSD hurts. PTSD kills. Untreated PTSD has the potential to unravel the very fabric of society."

If you know all the things in this book already, then share it with someone who doesn't. When you read it, did any of it remind you of anybody? If you don't know what's in this book, read it and find out.

Then use it. Use the tools Susan gives you. Use the tools you have.

One of the greatest tools we have as human race is communication. Read this book--then talk about it.
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goodheavens, July 26, 2012 (view all comments by goodheavens)
As a life coach and healer, I have seen quite a few clients who suffer from PTSD. This often misunderstood condition creates a lot of fear and anxiety, as well as keeps people from rising to their full potential. Ms. Pease Banitt quite beautifully illustrates how to find our spirit in the midst of what ever you might be feeling and shares great techniques to provide ease, respite and allow healing to creep in at it's own pace. Her book is patient and kind, the way envision the healing of this condition, as well as recognizes that we must be in it for the long haul. Her gentle approach isn't the regular fix-it type book, it is one that you will find your self returning to again and again for ideas, insight and solace. I highly recommend it.
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Product Details

Banitt, Susan Pease
Quest Books (IL)
Psychology-Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
9 x 6 in

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