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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
Briere has done a very good job of summarizing research and practice regarding the treatment of trauma. His clinical suggestions are clear, specific, and useful for the clinician.
The major concern I had about the book was that his theoretical underpinning is behavioral, and to a lesser extent cognitive-behavioral. As a result, he ends up at times explaining highly complex phenomena in simple, stimulus-response terms. For example, his conceptualization of the intense emotions experienced during a flashback, or re-experiencing, of a trauma is referred to throughout the book as a "Conditioned Emotional Response." Even the complex set of intersubjective experiences of the patient and therapist are explained within a stimulus-response model. (I was reminded of the early attempt to explain psychoanalysis in behavioral terms by Dollard and Miller.)
Briere also gives very short shrift (less than a page) to the work in EMDR that has proved so useful, albeit controversial, and shows limited understanding of this technique. He is correct, though, to point out that other exposure therapies may work just as well.
Despite these shortcomings, I recommend this book as a very worthwhile addition to the clinician's library because Briere provides a very useful breakdown of the stages of treatment of the victims of trauma, with illustrative examples that render his points in a very clear and concrete manner.
The reader can add his/her own theoretical explanations for the usefulness of his clinical methods.

Leonard S. Stein, Ph.D.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2008
This is a solid basic reference on the subject. Maybe I underestimated what I already knew about trauma therapy, but I was hoping for a bit more. I would recommend this book to anyone just starting out in learning about trauma therapy. It's sophisticated; don't get me wrong! And this guy is the Master. I was just looking to go deeper into the subtleties of working with people dealing with trauma issues. And more on childhood sexual abuse would have been welcome.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2007
This is a must have is you work with patients dealing with trauma. It provides an excellent summary of the most recent research and practical recommendations for ideal treatment programs. I used this as a resource in designing my own treatment programs in working with patients dealing with combat stress.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2011
This book was even better than expected! After recommendations by colleagues and attending a workshop by John Briere, I decided to purchase it. It is concise yet contains salient information, and is very easy to read. It is an essential text for clinicians working in a mental health setting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Briere is the best. He is well supported by the research. Easy to follow, a great addition to a library for the treatment of trauma.
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As one who works with families that have children who have experienced Complex Trauma, I found this book very useful. I highly recommend it to anyone who is in the position of trying to help children in the child welfare system. The book is well written and full of practical suggestions and ideas. I was able to begin using material right away.

Other useful books and materials are:

Treating Complex Traumatic Stress Disorders: An Evidence-Based Guide

Creating Capacity For Attachment

Assessing Children with Complex Trauma & Attachment Disorders

Attachment-Focused Family Therapy

The Emotional Brain: The Mysterious Underpinnings of Emotional Life
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2008
One of the best books out there on Trauma. Written more for professionals, it is worth a read for anyone else truly interested in learning about trauma and treatment. It's not a self-help book, but could be a valuable resource for someone seeking treatment or seeking to understand a loved one suffering from the impact of trauma.

For professionals, this book is essential if you work with clients/patients with significant trauma issues.
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on December 19, 2012
I believe that any person in the professional field of providing support to others deserve to have a book that can pinpoint the unique ideas of Trauma. Though unique to each individual in it's details, the overall subject of personal trauma has an universal tone. This book captures the message that there is life after traumatic experience. I would recommend it to anyone in the counseling field.
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on June 26, 2014
John Briere is a preeminent figure in the field of trauma and, with Catherine Scott, has written a brilliant book for the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of trauma related disorders. The book is excellently organized, comprehensive in scope, and written with a warmth that reminds the reader that trauma is a very human experience, not just something to be studied in research labs.
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on February 21, 2015
Trust work provided by this author. He knows the topic well and is one of the true teachers for clinicians seeking an understanding of managing the impact of trauma on their clients. Highly recommended.
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