Saturday, August 1, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Beyond Trauma: Conversations on Traumatic Incident Reduction
If you are interested in an overview of Traumatic Incident Reduction model of treating traumatic experiences, read Beyond Trauma. The book offers a compilation of comments, experiences, and explanations of Tramatic Incident Reduction (TIR) and addresses the use of TIR in various types of trauma, including that of soldiers, people feeling grief and loss, victims of crimes, the incarcerated, survivors of terrorism, accident victims, and children. Treatment of phobias and anxiety is also covered. The components of TIR, including cognitive restructuring, and desensitization, are discussed.
The technique is person-centered, highly structured, and brief. The therapist does not offer any interpretations, only instructions to view a traumatic incident from beginning through the end. The book gives transcripts of the same story as it is retold, allowing the reader to see how the story changes as the person retells it.
The TIR model adheres to the idea that permanent resolution of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is possible, but depends on the recovery of repressed memories
(Anamnesis). It is viewed as a simple technique and is taught to lay people as well as psychiatrists, social workers, pastors, nurses and other mental health professionals.
TIR is described from different perspectives, including that of practitioners and those whose suffering has been alleviated by it. Transcripts of sessions are included as are the rules of practice. In addition, TIR is compared to other treatment techniques. Many success stories are included. Patients are cured and clinicians report that the effectiveness of TIR is beyond their expectations. This book addresses the myth that people who suffer from trauma cannot recover and must remain scarred and helpless for life.
People with a history of trauma and mental health professionals are the target audience. The purpose is to educate them about the effectiveness of the technique. Some concepts are complicated, however, and the explanation of trauma is not easy to comprehend. The lay reader probably will benefit most from the stories of victims and how the therapy led to recovery.
A proponent of TIR edited this book and practitioners who advocate TIR wrote the articles. Some research studies are reported, but case studies are the main focus.
Insights and Commentary by Stephen R. Covey
Compiled by David K. Hatch
In his introduction, Stephen Covey states the outcomes he hoped to achieve with this book. First, he wanted the reader to relax and enjoy reading the book, that the information would be reassuring, comforting and uplifting. Second, he hoped the book would be inspiring to those who read it. Third, he hoped the collection of stories would arouse passion for being a transition person, someone who breaks the flow of negative traditions or practices from one generation to another.
To achieve these goals, this book offers stories, reflections, and quotations about everyday greatness. Everyday greatness is defined as being a person, who chooses to act rather than be acted upon, and chooses to act for meaningful and honorable purposes and acts in accordance with proven principles.
Does the book achieve these goals? The first goal of being an enjoyable read is easily achieved. The book is like a comfortable blanket to wrap up in when you have a moment, but it will wait for you when you have other things to do. Like the stories in Reader’s Digest, the entries complied are short, make a point, and don’t raise your blood pressure. It could be a reference book, one you read when you have a few moments and want to be inspired. The stories and quotations encourage you to be your best. Is the book inspirational? Absolutely. Not all the stories will be effective with all readers, but the variety of offerings means there should be a piece that speaks to each person. Finally, does the book arouse passion to break a negative cycle? Clearly, it does. The stories are of famous people, such as Walt Disney, Charles Dickens and Norman Rockwell to name just three, but also about everyday people like your neighbor, or like you, who make a difference by living the three characteristics of everyday greatness. As you read, you’ll realize you have what it takes to exhibit everyday greatness and what a powerful impact that can make.
Member of Thomas Nelson's Book Review Blogger Program: http://brb.thomasnelson.com/
Saturday, July 18, 2009
An Almost Perfect Murder
By Gary King
The July 2006 murder of Kathy Augustine made headlines. She was a high profile, dominating political figure in Reno, Nevada, who made history by being the first woman elected state controller. She had her photo taken with both President George Bush and his son President George W. Bush, survived an impeachment process, and in 2004 was a finalist for the office of Secretary of the Treasury of the United States. She had a history of using less than above board political tactics. A Republican Party colleague stated publicly he considered her an embarrassment to the party. Nevertheless, she could win elections and had an impressive resume.
Her husband, whom she was divorcing, died in 2003, and three weeks later Kathy married a former bodybuilder, Chaz Higgs. After being married for three years, they discussed divorce, and Chaz flirted with another woman. Then Kathy died of an apparent heart attack. Based on a tip from the woman Chaz had been flirting with, the police looked for poisoning by succinylcholine. Based mainly on the FBI finding traces of that chemical in her urine, Chaz Higgs was charged with the murder of Kathy Augustine.
King's account of the investigation and the trial of Chaz Higgs for Augustine's murder is detailed and interesting, though the facts related in the beginning of the book flow less smoothly than his writing about the trial. He repeats facts, particularly in describing succinylcholine effects, which interferes with the pacing of the story at times. Nevertheless, it is a fascinating read.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Dialectical Behavior Therapy, developed by Marsha Linehan, Ph.D., is a research-based therapy full of useful psychological facts. One energy saving realization is that no matter what’s going on, there are only four things you can do. I love the simplicity of that.
First, you can solve the problem. Come up with a solution. Brainstorm all the possibilities you can. Then challenge those solutions. What could happen to make them ineffective. Then implement the solution that fits you best, with a plan to deal with the roadblocks that are predictable.
Second, you can change your perception of the problem. If you can’t get rid of the banana trees in your yard, then learn to love those banana trees.
Third, you can radically accept what is going on. This means completely accepting the way things are. You don’t have to agree, or like what is happening, but you fully accept it. This is a lot like que sera, sera and letting go of what you can’t control.
Fourth, you can stay miserable.