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Trauma Survivors Strategies for Healing is a workbook that walks clients through several of the areas where their trauma is likely impacting their life. Each chapter has an easy to understand explanation of the experience, worksheets and exercises to help address the challenges.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Elena Walsh, PhD is a clinical psychologist with a private practice in Los Angeles. In therapy, she uses CBT, DBT, motivational interviewing, and mindfullness. You will see all of those blend seamlessly together in this workbook. In addition to this book, she has also written Getting to Good: A Guided Journal and The Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Workbook for Panic Attacks. You can learn more about her at her website and make sure to follow her on Instagram.
WHAT WE LOVE:
I absolutely loved this workbook. Each chapter starts with an easy to understand explanation of how trauma influences a person. The exercises that follow make sense to the reader and are easy to implement.
I especially liked the way Trauma Survivors’ Strategies was organized according to the life domains that trauma tends to impact. There are chapters on thoughts, emotions, relationships, and the body. Dr. Walsh explains how each of those is affected in a non-judgmental way. Then readers are guided through worksheets that help them identify and change their symptoms.
WHAT WE DIDN’T:
There were times when I wished that she went deeper into processing trauma. I would also love to have access to downloads of additional copies of the workbook. I think for some of the exercises to truly make a change, clients need to complete them multiple times. Dr. Welsh does give permission for readers to make copies but that is difficult for many people.
Trauma Survivors’ Strategies for healing is the best trauma workbook I have come across so far. People who have manageable trauma symptoms could use it on their own and therapists can use it as homework for clients or a guide for sessions. In my practice, I work with parents of kids with special needs, who have high rates of traumatic stress, and I’m looking into running a group based on this book.
This book doesn’t go deep enough to be a standalone for processing chronic or severe trauma but it will help clients get a solid understanding of how their trauma is impacting them while teaching practical coping skills.
Many therapists enjoy recommending books to their clients to supplement the work they are doing together. We also use books to help ourselves grow as people and practitioners. Remember though that books are never a replacement for real human connection or for therapy when it’s needed. If you find yourself needing a therapist, a great place to start is Psychology Today. If you are having thoughts of hurting yourself or someone else, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.