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The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook: A Guide to Healing, Recovery, and Growth

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For the millions who suffer from the effects of a traumatic experience, this book offers help and hope and provides the diverse elements needed for lasting recovery. Trauma can take many forms, from the most disturbing of circumstances such as witnessing a murder or violent crime to the subtle trauma of living with the effects of abuse or alcoholism. Deep emotional wounds often seem like they will never heal, but Schiraldi has helped and witnessed survivors recover, grow, and find happiness. By helping people recognize the coping mechanisms and by dealing directly with the effects of a traumatic experience, there is a great reason for hope. The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook is a guide for both survivors and their loved ones, helping them to see that on the other side of their pain is recovery and growth.

446 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2000

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Glenn R. Schiraldi

25 books17 followers

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5 stars
197 (44%)
4 stars
156 (35%)
3 stars
72 (16%)
2 stars
11 (2%)
1 star
5 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 33 reviews
Profile Image for Mary Allen.
14 reviews1 follower
July 8, 2007
This is the best book on PTSD that I've read, and I've got 4 of them! A wonderful guide to the disorder with practical tips on how to work through the healing process, whether you're suffering from it yourself, or someone you love has been diagnosed with it. I'm writing a book about a woman with it, thus the intense interest.

Highly highly recommend it!
46 reviews10 followers
April 7, 2012
Very comprehensive and accessible book about PTSD (i.e. the writing does not just target clinicians and psychologists). Among many other topics, the book goes over different feelings such as guilt, anger and shame, processes such as grief, paying attention to dreams and what they mean, and outlines different psychological treatments and relaxation techniques--some of the latter can be done at home. There is also focus on moving on after PTSD. It is also the first time I have read in simple words that PTSD is an anxiety disorder yet is a normal reaction after a particular trauma.

I do have four criticisms, three of which I will mention here. While there is a good focus on rape and sexual assault and it was important to include the following, the rape myths in the Appendices should have been linked to rape myths as outlined by a good feminist organisation. I think non-feminist psychologists should be looking to women's writing on surviving rape. This willingness to go outside one's discipline (yet there are feminist psychologists, you know!) might have helped with the chapter on anger, which I didn't find wholly satisfying. I think a woman who has survived rape and who feels extremely angry post-trauma because of what was done to her is in a different category to some other groups suffering from PTSD. Although it was good to see information on how to manage anger and to take responsibility for one's anger, the emphasis on the idea that anger is negative wasn't helpful; especially as women are mostly socialised to repress their anger and are shamed when expressing it. Also others might find the whorephobia and separately the book's normative conceptions of 'healthy sexuality' incredibly frustrating.
Profile Image for jw468.
198 reviews12 followers
January 31, 2015
Of all the books I read about PTSD, I found this one to be the most accessible.
Profile Image for Rebo.
712 reviews31 followers
May 4, 2014
This is a great, inclusive resource on PTSD and various different treatments. It's really a must-read for anyone who is suffering from PTSD, who has a relative who is, or who is interested in the disorder.

It's informative without being overly dense, and easily gives you resources for more information if you so choose to explore it.

My only reason for giving the kindle version 4 instead of 5 stars is formatting. The book is clearly straight from the print version, so a lot of the formatting is iffy, and the copious tables are very difficult to read. Even though you can enlarge them, the font is very light and you can't highlight within the tables. It would have been nice to have gotten some better formatting for the kindle version, but it's a minor gripe as all the material is still there.

Definitely a book I'll keep on my metaphorical shelf and refer to from time to time. It was very helpful and I feel like I really learned a lot.
Profile Image for Laura.
480 reviews
November 8, 2019
Yayyyyyy!!!!! I'm finished!!!
This book came into my life at a time when I could manage it and had a lot of really great information and things that really touched me and rang true. That being said, I read every word on every page and many of the sections I didn't feel applied to me. I think with a book like this you take what you need and leave the rest. Not everything will apply and if you don't have as rigid as a reading structure as I do then you would most certainly gloss over sections that aren't applicable to you or are of no interest.
I think the author has written a book that is fairly simple to read and offers many suggestions that are quite helpful. He seems to cover a lot and has written with knowledge and compassion and I like that.
I think it is worth the read but it felt like it took such a long time to read and I definitely welcomed other reading distractions.
65 reviews1 follower
October 3, 2021
This is a really informative and helpful book for people with PTSD. It has lots of coping strategies and ways to work through the healing process. Very practical and full of helpful techniques you can do by yourself. Kind of like a manual. I have gained many new ways to cope from this book, which is really helpful when certain strategies don’t work to calm you down some days!

My favourite parts are:
- To cast out traumatic memories instead of embracing them would be to disown the part of you that experienced them.
- “I should have acted in a way that only came to me later” = Hindsight Bias
- The Daily Thought Record (189)
- Life Review Road (299)
- 25-minute Worry Period (205)
Profile Image for Zoë Birss.
779 reviews17 followers
June 3, 2016
This is a very accessible and thorough book on PTSD. I recently also stumbled upon it on my therapist's bookshelf. By my reading, and his recommendation, I'd say it is an essential book on the subject.
Profile Image for Nancy.
160 reviews11 followers
September 10, 2023
One of the most incredible PTSD books I have ever read! (I am referring to the 2nd ed., which is revised and expanded.) It’s broken down into easy, manageable - often bite size - segments that I found to be particularly helpful because often a lot of PTSD work is very difficult to just read about. It takes a lot of reflection, and this book makes that very manageable. There are many exercises in the book that you can do without a therapist, although I would recommend doing most of them with a therapist. They are not to be taken lightly and reliving traumatic episodes is not something we should all be doing by ourselves. This book is for everyone: laymen, PTSD sufferers, therapists, family, and friends. An excellent book!
Profile Image for Kat Hodgins.
16 reviews11 followers
Want to read
August 1, 2012
Tried to read this as an e-book., but the set up was horrid. The test only took up about a third of each page, and the resulting white space was annoying and broke the continuity way too much. Might try again if I can get my hand on a physical copy (or a better e-edition) but for now this one is going back on the "someday" list.
3 reviews
August 29, 2008
This book was very education and offered practical ways and tools to help deal with the pain and suffering that comes with Post-Tramatic Stress Disorder.
Profile Image for Ginger.
68 reviews1 follower
July 29, 2009
Great source book... lots of good information.
Profile Image for Janna Ladd.
6 reviews
May 16, 2013
Excellent! Highly encourage those with PTSD to use this book with their therapist to gain maximum healing!
Profile Image for Margot Note.
Author 10 books57 followers
October 15, 2018
"All feelings serve a protective purpose.... Even numb feelings protect us from overwhelming emotions at first and signal a need for healing later" (99).

"Relax and ask yourself, 'What am I feeling right now?' It is normal for survivors to have a tough time identifying their feelings" (99).

"Perhaps you weren't permitted to grow emotionally. That was then. Now the goal is to feel comfortable with all emotions, identify them, and channel them constructively" (99).

"PTSD is an avoidance disorder. It is not memories and associated thoughts, feelings, and sensations that are the problem, but the attempts to erase or escape them. We increase our suffering with disbelief, anger, fear, and wanting things to be different. That is, the more we tense and fight our symptoms, the more we become aroused" (158).

"Suffering is an opportunity to learn kind-heartedness, a different way of being. We learn to embrace and soothe pain. We again learn to be in touch with our true selves, our feelings, and our bodies. PTSD often separates people from such awareness. We gain freedom and flexibility by giving up the obsession with controlling our pain" (159).

"Mindfulness is the opposite of dissociation. It helps us stop running away, resisting, and trying to change memories" (159).

"If you are to heal and pick up again, you will need to embrace your traumatic memories and integrate them with the rest of your life experience. You will not try to destroy them or cast them out. To do so would be to disown the part of you that experienced them" (171).
Profile Image for Robin Fry.
3 reviews
July 26, 2017
One of the best sourcebooks I've read on post-traumatic stress disorder--in fact, I'm reading it again. Dr. Schiraldi explains many aspects of PTSD in easy-to-understand terms, and he provides several practical exercises that help people understand where they may be in their respective healing journeys. It's a great guide for anyone wanting to understand PTSD better, and it debunks a lot of myths and misconceptions other people may have. It's also a great guide to help patients, psychologists, psychiatrists, and other health professionals work together to create the best treatment plan that leads to success and healing.

If you've been recently diagnosed or if you suspect you or someone else may be experiencing PTSD symptoms, check out this book as a first step. And you may want to read it again, as there's a lot of information to sift through (it's organized chapter by chapter, so you can find the topics you're looking for).
Profile Image for Jackie.
1,344 reviews
October 15, 2019
This book is an encyclopedic list of PTSD treatments available. This is overwhelming. Even though these options are apparently available, it does not address the difficulty to find even one specialist in an urban area, such as for EMDR therapy.

Its chapters cite works by various researchers. By using that material by permission, the subject reader changes the addressed audience regularly. This makes for difficult reading.

Profile Image for Hugh Mason.
Author 3 books4 followers
December 8, 2018
Straightforward, accessible and readable overview of PTSD that could be helpful to anyone who has received that diagnosis, or for the friends and family around them offering support. Generally neutral on all the issues except that the author's Christian faith bubbles through in a few places.
63 reviews2 followers
May 23, 2021
This book helped save my life and look at trauma very differently. It has helped me grow and has helped with my inner struggle and pain. So glad I could read it. It should be an industry standard for therapy.
Profile Image for Jason Carle.
1 review
November 18, 2019
Considering I bought this book for a reason, I am going to keep it around. It is a very good tool to have now, and will be in the future as well.
Profile Image for Raelle Rey.
85 reviews
January 29, 2021
This book is informative yet heartbreaking. The information in this book is sometimes grim but delivered in a matter of fact way.
Profile Image for Avonlea Rose.
157 reviews25 followers
January 27, 2018
Dishonesty has to be the worst crime in non-fiction writing. It's well enough if the author chooses to be upfront, but writing a Christian book on PTSD while not making this bias clear is unacceptable. It is as if the author genuinely thinks the reader is so dull that they'll accept inferences to Job, Jesus, prayer, and confession at a rate of rapid gunfire, without ever noting that they're being evangelized to. It is for this reason that, for whatever merits this book might have, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

To provide example, here is a sampling of the totally inappropriate commentary made by the author in this book-

"When we don't realize all the goals we impatiently expect, we can take solace in the comforting words that "all these things will be added" eventually if we seek first the godly life." (Schiraldi, pg. 365)

"Consider thoughts that might help you better deal with the losses. For example: "My baby is safe with God."" (Schiraldi, pg. 275)

"In theological terms, worth as a person is a given; each and every soul is precious." (Schiraldi, pg. 323)

"Faith may help people keep going, but it does not insulate one from human sadness. Certainly Job was no stranger to grief, and Jesus wept." (Schiraldi, pg. 274)

That "healthy sexuality" "adds to the feeling of closeness to God." (Schiraldi, pg. 354)

I could add here that Schiraldi tries to express tolerance towards a variety of religious views; but his bent on religiosity and clear bias towards Abrahamic belief renders the book inaccessible nonetheless.

Following in the vein of Schiraldi's personal beliefs, much of this book is built on the religious ideas of forgiveness, unconditional love, and healing through your faith.
Profile Image for Rachel Burkett.
22 reviews4 followers
December 14, 2019
I have constantly referred back to this book since reading it. I read it for a crisis counseling class but since reading I have used some of the relaxation techniques on myself with amazing results! I use this as a reference on everything PTSD and healing from trauma. Great book.
Profile Image for Brian Gillum.
30 reviews
April 12, 2014
This book is what it says it is...a guide to dealing with PTSD, for those still struggling with it, those who have learned to cope with it and for those who love them.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 33 reviews

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