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Understanding Trauma: Integrating Biological, Clinical, and Cultural Perspectives Hardcover – January 15, 2007

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 548 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (January 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521854288
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521854283
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,147,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"... Neatly summarizes the challenges inherent in interdisciplinary integration."
--- Psychiatric Services, A Journal of the American Psychiatric Association

Understanding Trauma is an important book. Its multidisciplinary, multicultural perspectives will benefit a wide audience. It explains the complexity of trauma so eloquently that readers will see the dots begin to connect. Its successful integration of multidisciplinary research... takes the study of trauma to the next level."

This book is a must read for anyone seriously interested in the predisposition, cause, course, treatment, and outcome prognosis for people experiencing trauma and post trauma consequences... The authors have created a state-of-the-art review that is fascinating, informative, and extremely useful to all concerned with understanding trauma and its effect on all of our lives.
- Murray A. Brown, MD

Book Description

This book analyzes the individual and collective experience of and response to trauma from a wide range of perspectives including basic neuroscience, clinical science, and cultural anthropology. It illustrates the power of an interdisciplinary approach to go beyond the limitations of psychiatry nosology to illuminate the complexities of human suffering.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Brendan Bombaci on November 24, 2014
Format: Paperback
The book Understanding Trauma: Integrating Biological, Clinical, and Cultural Perspectives is a deep and broad exploration of the causations and effects of, and various treatments for, trauma-induced stress. From sections on in vitro laboratory experimentation, and clinical philosophies wrought from human patient observation, to on-the-ground realities of posttraumatic stress, editors Kirmayer, Lemelson, and Barad (2007) poignantly paint a picture of PTSD diagnosis with the medium of myriad contributing authors’ treatises, as being one (1) with some universality but with a risk factor that is dependent upon individual biology and upbringing, and (2) that is, in humans, experienced and handled differently due to particular cultural worldviews and social circumstances. I agree with their concluding comments that especially in regards to psychiatric intervention for the displaced and disaster-stricken (by natural or anthropogenic forces) people around the world, post-traumatic stress should be treated (or not at all) through a biopsychocultural frame. I will now give examples to iterate why I am so convinced, from select chapters out of each pertinently discipline-specific section in the book.

For mice that experience panic from a traumatizing unconditioned stimulus (US) after classic conditioning, such panic can be duly titrated with repeated conditioning that simply excludes that stressor (Bouton and Waddell 2007:42), the conditioned stimulus (CS). It appears that this fear extinction is not fear erasure but rather a situational re-learning process (Quirk et al. 2007:60) that can in fact be disrupted in the future (leading to recurrence) with exposure to the original US alone or to the CS in a different context than extinction took place in.
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