Trauma and Serious Mental Illness

1st Edition

Steven N. Gold, John D. Elhai

Published April 15, 2008
Reference - 170 Pages
ISBN 9780789036513 - CAT# HW15847

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An exploration of the newfound connections between mental illness and trauma

For decades, the idea that serious mental illnesses (SMIs) are almost exclusively biologically-based and must be treated pharmacologically has been commonplace in psychology literature. As a result, many mental health professionals have stopped listening to their clients, categorizing their symptoms as manifestations of neurologically-based disturbed thinking. Trauma and Serious Mental Illness is the groundbreaking series of works that challenge this standard view and provides a comprehensive introduction to the emerging perspective of SMIs as trauma-based. This unique collection illustrates how different psychotherapy approaches can lead to reduced symptomatology, decreased psychological distress, and improved functioning in individuals living with SMIs.

Each extensively-referenced chapter in Trauma and Serious Mental Illness offers mental health workers a forward-looking theoretical inquiry, empirical study, or critical treatise providing compelling counter evidence to challenge the widespread belief that SMIs are not reactions to the extreme and extremely disturbing circumstances embodied by psychological trauma. In addition to the etiological application, this revealing text proposes ways to incorporate this cutting-edge approach toward treatment options as well.

Contributors to Trauma and Serious Mental Illness suggest that:
  • childhood trauma is related to psychotic disorders
  • dissociation can be confounded with psychotic symptoms
  • auditory hallucinations can be diagnostic of dissociation rather than psychosis
  • psychosis is related to the quality of family of origin environment and to age of onset of childhood abuse
  • bipolar and trauma-related disorders sometimes overlap
  • individuals with SMIs suffer related trauma even in treatment facilities
  • and much more!
Trauma and Serious Mental Illness is an eye-opening resource for mental health professionals, psychologists, counselors, psychiatrists, social workers, trauma workers, and educators and students in these disciplines.


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