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Transforming The Living Legacy of Trauma: A Workbook for Survivors and Therapists

Transforming The Living Legacy of Trauma: A Workbook for Survivors and Therapists PDF

Author: Janina Fisher

Publisher: PESI Publishing & Media


Publish Date: February 1, 2021

ISBN-10: 1683733487

Pages: 120

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

It takes a village to write a book, and I am grateful to all the villagers whose work has made mine possible. First, I want to thank the leaders of the trauma treatment village, Bessel van der Kolk and Judith Herman. Without their inspiration, determination, and unrelenting commitment, we would not have a trauma treatment field or a worldwide community of trauma specialists today. I first was inspired to devote my professional life to trauma when I heard Judith Herman speak in 1989, and I still remember the words that changed the course of my career aspirations. She said, “Doesn’t it make more sense that people suffer because of real things that have happened to them than that they suffer because of their infantile fantasies or their mental ‘illness?’” It did make sense that real things had happened to my clients—real and terrible things.

The other words that changed the course of my life and work came from Bessel van der Kolk: “The body keeps the score,” he asserted in 1994. Had he not had the courage to say something that, at the time, was considered crazy, the field would never have discovered the neurobiological source of what I call “the living legacy of trauma.” Without his encouragement and mentorship, I would never have become a voice for integrating these new ideas into trauma treatment. Bessel, thank you from the bottom of my heart for making possible the privilege of doing what I do.

Had it not been for Pat Ogden and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, I would not have known how to work with the body as well as the mind; would not have had the opportunity to learn such a gentle, nonviolent treatment for trauma; and I would not have had the incredible opportunities that Pat has generously made possible.

But, most of all, if it had not been for the clients who have been my teachers since the 1990s, I would never have come to understand trauma as I do. I would not be able to speak for trauma survivors without having had such gifted and generous teachers. I wish I could name you all by name, but I hope you know who you are. Each one of you has taught me something reflected in this book.

I want to acknowledge my fellow “villagers” scattered all over the world. Their support for me personally and for the mission we share has been invaluable. In Italy, Giovanni Tagliavini and Paola Boldrini, beloved friends and fellow travelers in this field, have worked tirelessly to improve the understanding of trauma and dissociation and to create a community for Italian trauma therapists. Trine Anstorp and Kirsten Benum, my wonderful Norwegian family of friends, have devoted their entire professional lives to improving the understanding of trauma in Norway. In Australia, my good friend Naomi Halpern has worked tirelessly for over 20 years to bring cutting edge trauma training to Australian therapists.

Writers also need friends and colleagues who are willing to nag, coax, encourage, and then nag us some more until we finally get the book done. Dear friends Stephanie Ross and Deborah Spragg are always my best naggers, reminding me frequently that I have something to say and that it is about time I said it. Deirdre Fay always had the vision for what I could do long before I could see it, and I am deeply grateful that she finally convinced me to believe her!Lisa Ferentz has always been my book-writing maven and role model. My thanks to her and to our power women, Denise Tordella and Robyn Brickel. Thank you to Terry Trotter, Sally LoGrasso, Phyllis Lorenz, Ellen Odza, Marilynne Chophel, and the rest of my Bay Area Sensorimotor Psychotherapy community for being such very vocal encouragers. And then there is the younger generation: My thanks to Maren Masino for making my work better and always reminding me that I have something to say that needs saying.

An author invariably needs other eyes and ears to help communicate on paper what is so clear in her mind. My thanks to Audrey Fortin for reading portions of this manuscript and giving me such very helpful feedback and to Linda Jackson, my publisher, for her unwavering support over many years. I am also deeply grateful to John Braman for his wise, mindfully-informed guidance in all things.

A very, very special note of gratitude to my amazing and gifted editor, Miriam Ramos, whose attention to detail helped to make this book far better than the one I first wrote. Her therapist mind always saw what needed to be said more clearly, while her editorial eye caught every error and repetition.
And then, last but hardly least, I want to thank my family: Jadu and Wendy, Jason and Kelli, and my amazing granddaughters Ruby and Nika. Thank you for always being there, for taking such good care of your aging mama and grandmother, and for putting up with this book! Writing a book is always a family sacrifice. My love and my heartfelt thanks to all of you.

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