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Courage After Fire: Coping Strategies for Troops Returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and Their Families Paperback – December 12, 2005


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Courage After Fire: Coping Strategies for Troops Returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and Their Families + Once a Warrior--Always a Warrior: Navigating The Transition From Combat To Home--Including Combat Stress, Ptsd, And Mtbi + War and the Soul: Healing Our Nation's Veterans from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Price for all three: $40.20

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 239 pages
  • Publisher: Ulysses Press; 1 edition (December 12, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569755132
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569755136
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #319,245 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Keith Armstrong, L.C.S.W., is a clinical professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco. He is director of Couples and Family Therapy, Director of Mental Health Social Work, and a member of the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Program at the San Francisco Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Suzanne Best, Ph.D., is a staff psychologist at the University of California, San Francisco and a research psychologist in the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Research Program at the San Francisco Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Paula Domenici, Ph.D., is currently a Congressional Fellow in Washington, DC, selected by the American Psychological Association through the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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Customer Reviews

It is easy to read and comprehend.
Mew
I would really recommend it to all servicemembers returning from deployment and veterans of war and, of course, their families and friends.
Cynthia Danute Cekauskas, LCSW
I applaud this book for it's intent and gratitude that it gives to our young warriors.
T. Kendrick

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 73 people found the following review helpful By R. Coley on April 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
My husband deployed for Baghdad in '03, shortly after the war broke out. We are both active duty, but I did not deploy during that time. Not being there to experience all the same things, I never fully understood the severity of daily events over there. He came home a completely different man: not sleeping or waking up from nightmares when he did sleep, drinking & smoking more heavily, distant and just overall jumpy/more alert. He was immediately diagnosed with PTSD upon return. He gave many attempts to explain the things he was feeling and how detached he felt from the things he used to know before the war. It has been frustrating as a spouse, not knowing how to help or what to do to help him get through the things he is experiencing, even still today. He found this book in the store and brought it home, suggesting that I read it. I could not put it down...it totally hit home! It put everything that a veteran (especially a PTSD sufferer) thinks, feels, and experiences...things my husband had tried so hard to talk about, but often couldn't. It is very well written, and gives you many example scenarios of the things our deployed soldiers experienced abroad, as well as upon their return. This book also has exercises for the veterans and their loved ones to try, to help everyone get thru this, one step at a time. I fully recommend this book to anyone who has come home from Iraq, as well as their loved ones helping them cope with the remaining fragments that war has left embedded in their memory.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Mark Zaslav on February 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
As a clinical psychologist who retired from the VA a few years ago, I was interested to read this book targeted at returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. The book uses short, well composed exemplary vignettes to focus the reader on particular issues such as cognitions, coping behaviors or emotional reactions necessarily affected by the demands of functioning and surviving in a war zone. Common problems such as stress-response syndromes, depression, anger dyscontrol, and substance abuse are explored carefully. These sections are always accompanied by practical suggestions and exercises the veteran can use to evaluate and modify these areas. The list of readings and websites at the end of the book will be particularly helpful for veterans and their families wanting further information on a particular topic. This is an excellent and accessible compilation of wisdom, ideas and techniques that VA mental health professionals use successfully to help veteran clients seeking help with reintegration into their families and society.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Mew on August 29, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Many Thanks to the authors for their service in writing this much needed and welcomed book. As a person w/family deployed to Iraq as well being an avid supporter of our Troops I learned early on that our men and women were coming home only to realize that their deployment wasn't over even though they were stateside. No one returns from war w/out side effects. Their lives are changed and they are no longer the same person they were before deployment. All their dreams and fantasy of returning home and "everything is going to be all right" is quickly shattered. I highly recommend this book to all active duty military and their families. As a society we must dissolve the fear and stigma of reaching out for support post deployment as a sign of weakness, this book is a step in the right direction.

I find the family unit is the least educated in terms of compassion, understanding, and what to expect when their loved ones return...which leads to conflict, confusion, disappointment and misery. A suggestion would be for the spouses to sit and read the book together so that as pertaining issues come up in regards to their circumstances the window of opportunity for discussion and communication is opened. This book guides both the Soldier and loved ones on what to expect, feel, and resources where to get support as well as instructions on how to deal with common problems that all the Troops experience. It is easy to read and comprehend. Since discovering the book I have started including it in care packages before the re-deployment process starts. So often our Soldiers are not given the knowledge of what to expect when they return home, especially the Nat'l Guard and Reserves, and even if they are, they don't "get it" until they actually have been home for a few months...
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia Danute Cekauskas, LCSW on March 13, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was written by a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and two PhD psychologists. All three have provided therapy for those who have been exposed to traumatic events such as war and for the families and friends who love them. As Major Andy Jackson of the US Army Special Forces stated in the introduction "it is essential reading for all combat veterans, their families and friends, military chaplains, employers and clinicians at VA Hospitals and vet centers."

It has often been said that knowledge is power. As the book points out "it's natural for people who have experienced trauma to avoid anything that might remind them of the event, because these memories make them feel uncomfortable or distressed. But this kind of avoidance reinforces the symptoms of posttraumatic stress because it prevents them from learning a vital lesson: These reminders are not dangerous. They are merely "triggers" to uncomfortable memories of posttraumtic stress. " Learning that one can learn to control their reaction to the triggers can be very empowering.

In Chapter 1 Reactions to War the authors describe both Positive and Negative Effects of War. Under Negative Effects such problems as anxiety, posttraumatic stress, panic attacks, phobias, anger, substance abuse and depression are clearly defined with examples of most given.

Chapter 2 Strengthening Your Mind and Body reinforces the survival skills and strengths veterans of war already have to help them with combat related stress. It gives an overview of relaxation drills to help reduce anxiety in the readjustment to stateside living. One special section of this chapter is the Sleep Tips:19 Ways to Get Better ZZZZs area.
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