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Loving Someone with PTSD


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About the Author

Aphrodite Matsakis, PhD, is an internationally recognized expert in trauma and the author of several books dealing with traumatic reactions, including I Can't Get Over It!, Trust After Trauma, The Rape Recovery Handbook, and Vietnam Wives: Women and Children Facing the Challenge of Living with Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Matsakis has over thirty-five years of experience working with veterans, abused persons, and other trauma survivors; has taught at several major universities; and has conducted dozens of seminars for trauma survivors and trauma therapists.


"Aphrodite T. Matsakis has once again captured the essence of the experience of individuals living with PTSD. This time, she has focused on helping those who love survivors understand the complexities and nuances of the issue. Matsakis has skillfully laid out key communication skills to utilize, as well as the common pitfalls to avoid in order to create trusting relationships. As a clinical social worker specializing in trauma therapy, I will recommend this book to the couples and individuals with whom I work. In addition, as a professor teaching graduate students, I know my students will benefit from Matsakis's expertise and techniques."
--Eileen A. Dombo, PhD, LICSW, clinical social worker, Washington, DC, and assistant professor at the National Catholic School of Social Service, The Catholic University of America
"For the past two decades, Aphrodite T. Matsakis has been helping people understand and cope with post-traumatic difficulties. In her latest book, Loving Someone with PTSD, she turns her focus to the survivor's relationship with the intimate partner. As always, Matsakis's advice is rock solid, down-to-earth, and immediately applicable. Bolstered by thought-provoking questionnaires and exercises, she guides the reader to create a safer, more authentic relationship that will sustain both survivor and loved one. This book will benefit everyone who cares about someone who has been touched by trauma."
--Don R. Catherall, PhD, professor of clinical psychiatry and behavioral sciences, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, and author of Emotional Safety
"Those who love and care for PTSD sufferers feel ignored and mistreated. The caregivers often suffer silently, not knowing what to think or what to do. Aphrodite T. Matsakis has done a magnificent job describing a loved one's distress when trying to help and cope with a partner's PTSD. The author covers issues such as the feeling of helplessness, not only in the PTSD survivors, but in the comforters. Matsakis explains PTSD symptoms, how difficult it is to communicate with a PTSD sufferer, and psychological triggers that may drive a survivor into a rage. She also shows readers how to cope with a survivor's panic attacks, addictions, suicidal thinking, alcoholism, and drug addiction. She describes common therapies and lists the right questions to ask a person in pain and in despair. Loving Someone with PTSD is a stunning achievement, a beautifully written book that flows from the heart with simplicity and clarity. It will not only save relationships--it will save lives."
--Allen R. Kates, MFAW, BCECR, author CopShock: Surviving Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
"A helpful guide for people seeking practical advice when their relationship is falling apart under the stress of trauma. Survivors and those who love and care for them will discover new ways to strengthen and deepen their relationships and reverse the destructive effects of post-traumatic stress."
--Stephen Joseph, PhD, author of What Doesn't Kill Us: The New Psychology of Posttraumatic Growth

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