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Therapy After Terror examines the 2001 World Trade Center attack from the perspectives of New York City mental health professionals who treated the psychologically wounded following the attack. Therapists discuss the attack’s effects on their patients, its personal and professional consequences for them, and the ways it challenged fundamental aspects of clinical theory and practice. The book describes crisis mental health services that were established after the attack, as well as longer-term treatments. It also examines notions of trauma, diagnostic procedures, and the politics of psychological treatment. Karen M. Seeley is a social worker and psychotherapist who teaches in the Anthropology Department at Columbia University. Utilizing her unique interdisciplinary background she provides a detailed study of the post-9/11 mental health crisis, including depictions of the restricted “hot spots” such as the Lexington Avenue Armory, Family Assistance Centers, and Respite Centers at Ground Zero, where mental health workers delivered aid.Read more
- Therapists' eyewitness and ethnographic descriptions of various service centers after 9/11
- Critical analyses of notions of trauma, concepts of PTSD, psychiatric diagnosis, and mental health practices
- The social implications and political uses of psychiatric categories
Reviews & endorsements
"A licensed, clinical social worker, Seeley (anthropology, Columbia Univ.) offers a riveting, comprehensive examination of the work and experiences of psychotherapists following 9/11. [...] At the heart of the book is Seeley's discussion of "trauma contagion", a phenomenon she distinguishes from vicarious trauma. [...] Integrating health treatment, theory, and ethics, this is a valuable resource for policymakers as well as students and practitioners. Highly recommended..."
--A.N. Douglas, Mount Holyoke College, CHOICE, Vol. 46 No. 03See more reviews
"...Seeley dissects the events of 9/11 and subsequent developments and provides an articulate accounting of our successes and failures in the psychological response...This unprecedented volume will be a benefit to all mental health providers and transcends issues related to specific mental health professions (i.e., psychology, psychiatry, and social work). Therapy After Terror should be required reading for anyone considering trauma work, individuals who are in positions to make mental health policy, and those who have volunteered their services to groups who maintain preparedness to respond to national emergencies and disasters."
--Carrie H. Kennedy, PsycCRITIQUES (February 18, 2009, Vol. 54, Release 7, Article 5)
"Therapy After Terror is a well-written, well-documented, insightful review of what happened to mental health practitioners in New York City immediately following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and its continuing effects on their patients, themselves, and their profession..."
--JAMA, Osalind D. Cartwright, PhD (Emeritus), Rush University Medical Center
"...Those who regularly treat people experiencing trauma, this book will expand ongoing debates in the field with the extraordinary backdrop of 9/11 view. For those who don't treat trauma survivors but who tempted to help with the next disaster, this book will cause them to consider whether they have relevant training to be helpful as a therapist in a disaster."
--Psychiatric Services, Dr. Adams, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Maryland
"...This volume provides an excellent overview of how psychotherapists in New York City dealt with the trauma of 9/11 through their attempts to help the patients who sought help for their emotional trauma... it raises important and intriguing issues concerning the medicalization and privatization of a massive collective trauma."
--Hoyle Leigh, MD, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, Journal of Clinical Psychiatry
"The author's use of interviews, historical material, and superb critical analysis makes this book a must-read for anyone interested in studying the effects of a traumatic events on large-scale populations."
--Irene Javors, Yeshiva University, Journal of Anthropological Research
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- Date Published: January 2015
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781107459977
- length: 254 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 13 mm
- weight: 0.35kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. Histories of trauma
2. Volunteers for America
3. 'Get me counselors!'
4. The psychological treatment of trauma
5. The trauma of psychological treatment
6. Diagnosing post-traumatic stress disorder
7. Trauma as metaphor
8. Mental health in traumatic times.
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