Healing Invisible Wounds: Paths to Hope and Recovery in a Violent World

Richard F. Mollica, Author . Harcourt $26 (277p) ISBN 978-0-15-101036-3

Mollica breaks with what he says is the conventional wisdom that torture victims are untreatable. In limpid prose, Mollica, director of the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma, celebrates instead "the capacity of persons to recover from violent events and to engage in self-healing." He explains how his clinic offers traumatized refugees to America housing, emotional support, counseling in their own language and participation in therapeutic self-healing programs. Demonstrating the importance of cultural sensitivity, especially to language, and the significant healing power of attuned listening to the "trauma story," Mollica writes: "Survivors must be allowed to tell their stories their own way. We must not burden them with theories, interpretations, or opinions, especially if we have little knowledge of their cultural and political background." Relating harrowing survivor stories from Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda and the World Trade Center, among others, Mollica describes the psychological effects of humiliation, cultural annihilation and sexual violence, showing how victims "suffer a divide in their conscious minds" between hope and despair. Mollica advocates moral and emotional discipline in both healer and patient. Passionately endorsing a humanitarian, holistic and culturally sensitive approach to healing, Mollica persuades with pertinent reference to contemporary neuroscience and to ancient and non-Western healing practices. (Dec.)

Reviewed on: 09/25/2006
Release date: 11/01/2006
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-8265-1642-8
Paperback - 277 pages - 978-0-8265-1641-1
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