on December 30, 2004
Raymond Mansour Scurfield takes the reader through an account of pyschiatric casualties of the Vietnam war that is unlike any other book on the era that I've ever read. This is not simply a tale of the horrors of the war...though they are illustrated throughout...but is a first-hand view from one who worked in-country with psychiatric cases and who has continued that work for nearly 40 years with veterans of the war. His experience is invaluable and is presented in a style that is engaging and understandable.
What makes the book indispensable is the door it opens into the mind of the trauma survivor. This is not a book that is theoretical in nature, though its foundations are clearly theoretically sound. Rather, it is an eyewitness journey with practical insight from one who is not only a keen observer of his surroundings, but a renowned clinician with an extraordinary mind.
If you are a survivor, if you live with or know a survivor, or if you work with PTSD survivors, this is a must read. Don't wait to order it. Get it now and read it NOW!
on February 28, 2006
A Vietnam Trilogy provides professionals and lay persons alike a reader-friendly blueprint for understanding and treating war veterans who show symptoms of post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD). Raymond Scurfield shares his personal experience treating Viet Nam era vets while giving the reader a glimpse into his personal journey of recovery through PTSD with the use of his personal journal he kept while he was stationed in Viet Nam from 1967 to 1969. The text is extensively researched and numerous annotated references are provided.
From the first pages, Dr. Scurfield engages the reader on both a professional and personal level. With clinical and first person accounts, this author paints a vivid picture of the many presentations of PTSD and gives us a glimpse into the world of the men and women who selflessly serve their country and carry the scars with them long after their enlistments.
The text is instantly captivating as the author carefully weaves the fabric of the political climate regarding veteran
treatment and the many challenges practitioners have faced to get vets proper mental health care. He shares with the reader his personal frustration with the bureaucratic process and the many effective and innovative treatment modalities available to those diagnosed with PTSD.
Scurfield's information is pertinent and relevant today. The men and women currently fighting in the Middle East face the same type of ruthless opponent as the soldiers in Viet Nam. Though the book focuses on the Nam era it is timeless in its message. PTSD is not exclusively a war caused mental illness. Variations of Dr. Scurfield's interventions can be applied to anyone who suffers the personal ravages of this disorder. There are many instances when the author shares antidotes about pioneering practitioners thinking beyond the purveying treatment
paradigm and applying innovative interventions that help people heal.
In the first pages of his book Dr. Scurfield shares his reasons for writing this book he states: "My purpose in writing this book is threefold: to provide some hint at a realstic picture of what the psychiatric, psychological and social impact of war is on on many of its participants; to help those involved with military and veterans affairs, the families, and veterans themselves, to learn what we can from the post-Vietnam experience and to extend the benefits of successful therapies to more veterans; and to avoid or minimize the creation od substantial numbers of psychiatric casualities amoung veterans of more recent conflicts." The book covers these points and
If you are a mental health practioner, A Vietnam Trilogy is a must read. If you have someone in your life who suffers from PTSD it is a must read. If your are merely interested in the etiology and treatment of PTSD it is a must read. If you are curious about how politics effect treatment in our country it is a must read. If you want to be transported back in time to the Viet Nam era it is a must read. If you are a Viet Nam veteran, A Viet Nam Trilogy is a must read. If you are a student looking for an exceptional PTSD resource with an extensive bibliography from which to build a research paper, it is a must read. If you wish to be educated and entertained by an excellent work of non-fiction, it is a must read. Bottom line: Buy, read and share this book. Give yourself the freedom to question the current paradigm.
on April 12, 2007
Dr. Scurfield's remarkable triology appears at first glance to be aimed at trauma therapists, veterans and their families. If one gives any thought to the events taking place in the world of today, then a wider audience is called - we all, as citizens of the world, need to contemplate the true cost of war. The old saying, 'war is Hell' has been historically attributed to veterans only. This is a mistake. In his trilogy Dr. Scurfield leads with his personal experience as a soldier in Vietnam, a leading PTSD practitioner and a man of heart. I am not an objective source yet I am a credible one. I have known and worked with Dr. Scurfield for nearly three decades and certainly shared a portion of the journey of which he details in the trilogy. It is my telegram that he utilizes on page 24 of book 2 to illustrate the unimaginable impact cold, clinical prose elicits when families are informed of their loved one's catastrophic wounding in combat. I have been blessed to be mentored by Dr. Scurfield in the field of trauma therapy. Readers must listen carefully to his views on the treatment of PTSD as he unveils strategies I have seen work with trauma survivors in therapy. This is not a book by a researcher theorizing, yet not truly touching those written about. Quite the opposite. Dr. Scurfield has treated war veterans from the time they were soldiers into old age. He understands the continuum of the healing process. But make no mistake, the cost of war touches us all - even those who actively avoid it - and in these pages Dr. Scurfield both describes and offers us all a way out of Hell.
on August 28, 2005
Dr. Scurfield has given us the key to understanding what was happening inside us during our time "in country" and ever since. One cannot help but remember the beauty of the land and, most of all, the others who shared this experience with us. His thoughts are straightforward, honest and caring. He leads us to realize that we are not alone and to appreciate family, friends, and buddies who were with us before and during the event or who have come into our lives since. The book is both enjoyable and entertaining.
on August 2, 2007
There is a new Bible in town and this remarkable treatise is it. As a combat veteran of both Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom, there is a scarcity of compelling and accurate manuscripts that genuinely capture the fact of the matter and the bona fide psychological impact of war and its devastating aftermath on the human psyche. Dr. Scurfield has done just that in a manner that is both forcefully convincing and stunning in its truth telling. It was during my last overseas deployment, deep in the Sunni Triangle of Death, that I immersed myself in his first volume of his Vietnam Trilogy, A Vietnam Trilogy: Veterans and Post-Traumatic Stress; 1968,1989, and 2000. It was awe-inspiring to have our very experiences in the wartime theater of Iraq depicted so exactly as we were living it---and his book was written about military psychiatry during the Vietnam War and about Vietnam veterans! This book, indeed, is a testimony to the profound universalities of the experience of war and its impact across eras and generations.
Colonel Kathy Platoni, Psy.D.