Survival, Resilience, and Clinical Implications in Survivor Families
Routledge – 2012 – 341 pages
Based on twenty years of intense qualitative research, Transcending Trauma presents an integrated model of coping and adaptation after trauma that incorporates the best of recent work in the field with the expanded insights offered by Holocaust survivors. In the book’s vignettes and interview transcripts, survivors of a broad range of traumas will recognize their own challenges, and mental-health professionals will gain invaluable insight into the dominant themes both of Holocaust survivors and of trauma survivors more generally. Together, the authors and contributors Sheryl Perlmutter Bowen, Hannah Kliger, Lucy Raizman, Juliet Spitzer and Emilie Scherz Passow have transformed qualitative narrative analysis and framed for us a new and profound understanding of survivorship. Their study has illuminated universal aspects of the recovery from trauma, and Transcending Trauma makes a vital contribution to our understanding of how survivors find meaning after traumatic events.
Accompanying Transcending Trauma is a CD of full-text life histories that documents the survivor experience. In seven comprehensive interviews, survivors paint a picture of life before and after war and trauma: their own feelings, beliefs, and personalities as well as those of their family; their struggles to deal with loss and suffering; and the ways in which their family relationships were able, in some cases, to mediate the transmission of trauma across generations and help the survivors transcend the trauma of their experiences.
"Transcending Trauma shows that it is possible to learn even from the most horrific events of the past hundred years. The authors emphasize that trauma always involves survival and that focusing on survival can deepen our understanding of coping and resilience. The result is a magnificent integration of individual, family and cultural perspectives on trauma and resilience." - Danny Brom, Israel Center for the Treatment of Psychotrauma, Jerusalem, Israel, and coeditor of Treating Traumatized Children: Risk, Resilience, and Recovery
"Transcending Trauma changes the way we think about Holocaust survivors—and, indeed, about the human ability to cope with all manner of traumatic experience." - from the foreword by Charles R. Figley, PhD, the Paul Henry Kurzweg Distinguished Chair in Disaster Mental Health at Tulane University and author of Compassion Fatigue
"Transcending Trauma is a sensitive and thorough—as well as clear and comprehensible—study of a controversial topic." - Peter Suedfeld, PhD, professor emeritus, University of British Columbia
"The authors of Transcending Trauma have captured the process that allows trauma survivors to travel to the abyss and back. This book is a must read for anyone interested in the intergenerational transmission of sorrow, hope, and social justice." - Roberta Greene, professor at the University of Texas School of Social Work and author of Resiliency: An Integrated Approach to Practice, Policy, and Research
"I found [this book] absolutely compelling and awe inspiring. [The authors] have done an immense job of integrating vast amounts of data and then integrating the relevant literature. I think the contribution [they] have made is astounding. The main points of [the] work are critically important…every chapter reads like the work of love." - Kaethe Weingarten
Part I: The Transcending Trauma Project. Goldenberg, Isserman, Hollander-Goldfein, Introduction: The Transcending Trauma Project. Goldenberg, Hollander-Goldfein, Resilience After Prolonged Trauma: An Integrated Framework. Isserman, Making the Unmanageable Manageable: Innovative Tools for Analyzing a Large Qualitative Dataset. Part II: Survivors and the Impact of Pre-war Family Dynamics on Post-war Lives. Goldenberg, "The Biggest Star is Your Mother": Prewar Coping Strategies of 18 Adolescent Survivors. Goldenberg, The How and Why of Survival: Causal Attributions and the Search for Meaning. Isserman, "If Somebody Throws a Rock on You, You Throw Back Bread . . .": The Impact of Family Dynamics on Tolerance and Intolerance in Survivors of Genocide. Goldenberg, A Minyan of Trees: The Role of Faith and Ritual in Post-war Coping and its Relevance to Working With Trauma Survivors. Part III: Parenting Patterns. Isserman, Hollander-Goldfein, Raizman, Parenting in Survivor Families: Critical Factors in Determining Family Patterns. Hollander-Goldfein, Isserman, Raizman, "Like a Bridge Over Troubled Waters": Divergent Parenting and the Mediating Influence of Positive Parental Attachment. Part IV: Intergenerational Transmission to the Children of Survivors. Bowen, Spitzer, Passow, "The Elephant in the Room": Survivor Holocaust Communication With Their Children. Kliger, Hollander-Goldfein, Holocaust Narratives and Their Impact on Adult Children of Survivors. Hollander-Goldfein, A Systemic Perspective of Coping and Adaptation: The Inextricable Connection Between Individual and Family. Appendix One: Demographics of the TTP Dataset.
Bea Hollander-Goldfein, Ph.D., LMFT is codirector of the Postgraduate Certificate Program in Marriage and Family Therapy, director of the Transcending Trauma Project, and senior staff therapist at the Council for Relationships at the University of Pennsylvania, USA. She is also a clinical assistant professor at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, USA
Nancy Isserman, Ph.D. is codirector of the Transcending Trauma Project at the Council for Relationships at the University of Pennsylvania and associate director of the Feinstein Center in Philadelphia, USA
Jennifer Goldenberg, Ph.D., LCSW is a clinical social worker in private practice in Bangor, Maine, USA