The End of Trauma: How the New Science of Resilience Is Changing How We Think About PTSD

George A. Bonanno. Basic, $30 (336p) ISBN 978-1-541-67436-3
Bonanno (The Other Side of Sadness), director of the Loss, Trauma, and Emotion Lab at Teachers College, proposes a new way to look at trauma in this hopeful examination. Arguing against the popular notion that “traumatic stress inevitably produces lasting trauma and PTSD,” he instead posits that most people go through traumatic events without developing any long-lasting negative consequences—in other words, that people are more resilient than the general consensus considers. He further proposes that a “flexibility mindset” (“a conviction that we will be able to adapt ourselves to the challenge at hand”) can explain why two-thirds of people who go through traumatic events eventually recover instead of developing PTSD. Bonanno masterfully conveys his extensive research on 9/11 survivors, and on people who suffered severe spinal cord injuries yet who didn’t experience long-term traumatic effects. His resilience model is provocative, and Bonanno urges that there’s “no single best way to cope” and calls for professionals to “adjust our behavior to fit whatever the situation is calling for, and... make sure whatever we are doing is working.” Bold and accessible, this offers much to consider. Agent: Jim Levine, LGR. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 08/26/2021
Release date: 09/07/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
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