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TWO GOOD BOOKS

 
I recently had the privilege of reading two good books which educated and stimulated my thinking even though I am daily steeped in the actuality of child maltreatment and trauma.

DAMAGED (University of Toronto Press, 2021) was written by two Canadian psychiatrists for the general public. Built around the care of one patient, it not only describes his challenges and treatments, but also lays out a non threatening introduction to the significance of Adverse Childhood Experiences and screening for them; the tragedy of child maltreatment and child abuse trauma and its life long impact in a way the lay person can understand; and how trauma informed care is better. The authors succeed in 'breaking the wall' to get past the white coat barrier to give a relaxed and intimate insight into a good treating docs' thoughts, feelings, concerns, experiences in the therapeutic encounter. Moreover, the authors go outside the clinic to describe and emphasize the many levels of recommended/needed intervention on the individual, professional, cultural, and political levels needed to make a preventive difference. Over all this story captures my praise because it is a 'sweet' story - conveying the essence of a patient, kindly, supportive, empathetic therapeutic encounter. (Next time I need a therapist I may seek out one of these psychiatrists.) Thus, all in all, it is an excellent introduction to the subject.
On the other hand, this book has two shortcomings. First, it gives no recognition to the important rehabilitative and therapeutic value of positive experiences, such as a mentor or a church. Second, I am certain many PACES Connection readers will be put off by the therapist's patient kindness and lack of resolution of the problem.  The care of this patient extends over 20 years of psychotherapy. This is a situation I find unnecessary and unacceptable given the many well documented and successful studies of evidence proven, easily learned, brief cognitive behavioral techniques. The medical model still has its blinders on.
I LIVE HERE (2022) by my friend Lori Poland is a no holds barred, honest, detailed history of her kidnapping and abuse at age 3; her extraordinarily lucky rescue after she was left to die; and an intimate diary of the effects this had on her life's course, on her family, and on her spirit and persona over the next 40 years. I should first mention that some details may be triggering, so some interested readers should be cautious. While a narrative like this maybe a cathartic form of self-healing, I am certain that recalling certain events and being so intimately detailed about them was both difficult and stressful. Lori's health is demonstrated by her ability to give an unvarnished retelling of many intimate details of failures and consequences on the road to success in the struggle for resilience, health and autonomy. Lori is now a trained and successful therapist, mom to 3 lovely daughters, and cofounder (with her former therapist) of ENDCAN, a non-profit seeking to catalyze prevention of child maltreatment. This story is an inspiration to others who have been hurt and traumatized. If Lori can do it, you can!

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Thanks, Jane and Jeoff!

The ENDCAN event was terrific. I bought Lori's book, and am eager to read it. The line to access the book and have her sign it was about 50-people deep when I decided to leave the book launch/celebration event, so I've ordered it and haven't received it yet. I hear it is a terrific book. Lori is certainly a motivated, learned, experienced, talented, persuasive, and passionate leader in this movement, and I feel blessed to have met you both -- and many other movement leaders -- at the ENDCAN (END Child Abuse Now) event in Denver. It was an honor to have been included and to work together with such brilliant people in finding solutions to ending child abuse (including poverty and racism); creating awareness, healing, hope, resilience, equity, disruption, policy, solutions!

Carey

Last edited by Carey Sipp (PACEs Connection Staff)
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