Understanding Trauma

Understanding Trauma : Integrating Biological, Clinical, and Cultural Perspectives

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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. Each perspective presents critical and creative challenges to the other. The first section reviews the effects of early life stress on the development of neural systems and vulnerability to persistent effects of trauma. The second section of the book reviews a wide range of clinical approaches to the treatment of the effects of trauma. The final section of the book presents cultural analyses of personal, social, and political responses to massive trauma and genocidal events in a variety of societies. This work goes well beyond the neurobiological models of conditioned fear and clinical syndrome of post-traumatic stress disorder to examine how massive traumatic events affect the whole fabric of a society, calling forth collective responses of resilience and moral transformation.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 548 pages
  • 149.86 x 226.06 x 25.4mm | 703.06g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 6 tables
  • 0521726999
  • 9780521726993
  • 435,711

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Author Information

Laurence J. Kirmayer, MD, FRCPC, is James McGill Professor and Director, Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University. He is Editor-in-Chief of Transcultural Psychiatry and directs the Culture and Mental Health Research Unit at the Department of Psychiatry, Jewish General Hospital in Montreal where he conducts research on mental health services for immigrants and refugees, psychiatry in primary care, the mental health of indigenous peoples, and the anthropology of psychiatry. He founded and directs the annual Summer Program and Advanced Study Institute in Cultural Psychiatry at McGill and co-directs the National Network for Aboriginal Mental Health Research. His past research includes funded studies on the development and evaluation of a cultural consultation service in mental health, pathways and barriers to mental health care for immigrants, somatization in primary care, cultural concepts of mental health and illness in Inuit communities, risk and protective factors for suicide among Inuit youth in Nunavik (Northern Quebec), and resilience among Indigenous peoples. He co-edited the volumes Current Concepts of Somatization (American Psychiatric Press), Understanding Trauma: Integrating Biological, Clinical, and Cultural Perspectives (Cambridge University Press), Healing Traditions: The Mental Health of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada (University of British Columbia Press) and Encountering the Other: The Practice of Cultural Consultation (Springer SBM). Robert Lemelson is currently a lecturer in the departments of Anthropology and Psychology at UCLA, and the president of the Foundation for Research (the FPR). He is a psychological anthropologist with a specialty in culture and mental illness. He was a Fulbright scholar in Indonesia, and is currently releasing several documentary films based on his research on culture and neuropsychiatric disorders. He has published in Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry; Medical Anthropology Quarterly; Transcultural Psychiatry and other journals. Mark Barad is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles and has been the Tennenbaum Scholar from the Department of Psychiatry. His current research and writing further explores the development of adjunctive treatments to accelerate and facilitate the behavioral psychotherapy of anxiety disorders. In addition to his research and teaching, Dr Barad has supervised at the UCLA Anxiety Disorders Clinic and the UCLA General Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic. He also has a private practice as a psychiatrist.

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Review quote

"... 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." - PsycCRITIQUES 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

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