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Trust After Trauma: A Guide to Relationships for Survivors and Those Who Love Them Paperback – April 1, 1998


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Trust After Trauma: A Guide to Relationships for Survivors and Those Who Love Them + I Can't Get Over It: A Handbook for Trauma Survivors + The Rape Recovery Handbook: Step-by-Step Help for Survivors of Sexual Assault
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: New Harbinger Publications; 1 edition (April 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572241012
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572241015
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #242,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

About the Author

Aphrodite T. Matsakis, PhD, is an internationally recognized expert in trauma and the author of several books dealing with traumatic reactions, including I Can't Get Over It!, Trust After Trauma, The Rape Recovery Handbook, and Vietnam Wives: Women and Children Facing the Challenge of Living with Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Matsakis has over thirty-five years of experience working with veterans, abused persons, and other trauma survivors; has taught at several major universities; and has conducted dozens of seminars for trauma survivors and trauma therapists.

More About the Author

Aphrodite T. Matsakis, PhD, is an internationally recognized expert in trauma and relationships. Her books include:I Can't Get Over It!, Trust After Trauma, The Rape Recovery Handbook, Back From the Front: Combat Trauma, Love & Family, and most recently "Loving Someone with PTSD. Other specialities: communication skills, relationships, stress management, and women's and minority issues. She has counseled others for over 35 years, taught at several major universities; and has conducted numerous seminars. Visit www.matsakis.com for further information.

Customer Reviews

I really love & appreciate Aphrodite Matsakis.
Donna M. Giovanni
I get the analogy, but couldn't the author come up with something other than the truely heinous?
Peter Thom
It was interesting and well-written, and I highly recommend it!
Jennifer May, Ph.D.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

73 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Peter Thom on August 6, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book misses the mark. I am a survivor of trauma with years of recovery behind me. This book takes a tough love approach, constantly reminding the reader of his/her limitations and can't say enough about how those limitations may never be healed to his/her desire. The correlation of survivors to Frankenstein's monster is a pity. I get the analogy, but couldn't the author come up with something other than the truely heinous? I would rather recommend "Legacy of the Heart" by Wayne Miller--a much gentler and realistic approach to healing trust.
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57 of 64 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 10, 2003
Format: Paperback
I have only read portions of this book... and what I've read of it exemplifies a punitive and callous approach to working with trauma survivors. Making an analogy to Frankenstein for a trauma survivor experiencing intimacy/relational difficulties serves to revictimize trauma survivors. Also, I think this book is quite reductionistic... and frankly serves to categorize trauma survivors' diverse relational transactions as "trauma reactions." This unfortunately can be fuel for partners who read this book to label any and all of a trauma survivor's thoughts, opinions, and feelings (especially if slightly intense) to be "trauma reactions." Then, the partner can in essence blame the abuse-surviving parter for relationship difficulties which may have absolutely nothing to do with the trauma. This book can be quite damaging in its simplicity.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
I have read this book three times over the last year. Each time gave me new insights into healing the pain of chilhood sexual abuse. The author knows what she is talking about. I found the book very painful to work through, but worth the effort toward healing. My partner found it enlightening. Now he knows some of the issuses I am dealing with.
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60 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Stan Finnell (sfinell@netmdc.com) on November 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is wonderful. It provides information so that trauma survivors understand their emotions, and behavior, it also offers insight for loved ones and partners of trauma survivors. I recommend it and have recommended it to many people. I can only thank the author for her work!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Far Rider on July 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
I came across this book outside of Amazon.xxx, and it has been the first and only book that has helped me understand the trust issues that can plague PTSD. I have some experience of this myself, and found the author understood me surprisingly well, without ever lecturing me. The author offers comprehensive questionnaires and exercises, and discusses the wide range of coping behaviours, issues and mind-sets that are obviously gleaned from much experiential work with trauma sufferers. Her style is readable, measured and highly compassionate: it never blames, derides or cajoles.

This is important: I found many self-help books written by people with one-track pet theories and a desire to jump on the latest gravy train without actually doing the real work. Therefore - and especially in an area that requires the fundamental earning of trust - I feel these authors are irresponsible in the effects of their pet claims on vulnerable people. People suffering trauma need to be understood and treated authentically.

This book does just that, in my experience.
It is not patronising, not Pollyanna, not Newage, and not arrogant about a "solution". It comes across balanced, experienced and helpful.

I found it helped me with many aspects of my relating to others within my own process, and enables me to have a means and a sense of dignity to share and explain what goes on for me, as well as practical tools for healing. I truly recommend it. This is my first ever review, so please judge by that my rating of this author.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer May, Ph.D. on December 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
I am a clinical psychologist who does a lot of trauma work with patients. I have read many books about trauma, and this book is one of the best. I can actually say that it added to my knowledge of trauma and provided me with many insights that I was able to share with the psychology students I supervise as well as the patients I treat. Matsakis not only talks about the symptoms of trauma (which many other authors do), but she talks in depth as to how they can affect relationships. It was interesting and well-written, and I highly recommend it!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Marlene Kelley on September 20, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book provides a step by step program for those recovering from trauma and its effects manifested through PTSD and other forms of traumatic memories that invade our current reality.

I am finding the book helpful overall, however, it seems to be written for those who are beginning the healing process rather than for those who have been in recovery for a great deal of time.

In some ways, I find the book a little discouraging, because it often refers to damage done by the trauma that will forever alter one's life in negative ways. I am unwilling to consider or accept that full healing is not only possible, but that it can and must be the objective of people in recovery.

I believe that people suffering from the consequence of trauma, even in the form of PTSD, can not only heal, but that our trauma can equip us to help others in unique ways--ways that the non-traumatized may not be as skilled in. I do not believe "once a victim, always a victim" so to speak. Instead, I believe that all things can and will be used for the good if we determine to overcome, and if we refuse to allow our abusers to rob us of our future...

Life can, and usually does, deal out some extremely difficult "blows" to most people, in varying degrees of course. Those of us who end up living well, are those who recognize that, though our trauma was completely undeserved and not our fault, our future peace and joy depends upon our determination to overcome! Trauma survivors, with hard work, prayer, and determination CAN triumph over tragedy! I am not suggesting that the journey through grief and healing is not extremely difficult, because it is.
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