“This book is remarkable. The authors have, more effectively than anyone I’ve read before, brought the patients’ experiences to life at the same time they’re teaching about the conditions and ways to cope. I’m not just moved by the patient profiles and stories, but I can feel them; that’s something the manuals completely lack—not just clinical pearls, but the experience of the patient on all levels. Most important, this is a book about hope. The entire book is about hope. Matt and Beth make a great team.”
Review by Jennifer Mathieu, award-winning author of The Truth About Alice, Devoted, Afterward, and the forthcoming Moxie, already optioned as a major motion picture:
“Trauma Recovery: Sessions With Dr. Matt reaches out to hurting, frightened people and makes the therapeutic journey accessible and comforting, even while acknowledging the bumps along the way. What separates this book from so many other “self-help” guides is the storyline. I rooted for, and cried with, the very realistic fictionalized therapy patients at various stages of recovery. A writing style that is sincere, empathetic, and engaging; the authors’ respective experiences as therapist and patient; and the breathtaking use of music to augment the recovery process will make readers “come on in” and stick around to see what happens. This book should be in every trauma therapist’s office and placed in each of their patients’ hands.”
Review by Dr. Robert Hughes, Dallas, TX: A must read for clinicians, trauma survivors, and lay persons alike!
As a former Special Education teacher, Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry, and a Clinical Psychologist with nearly 30 years of practice spanning the range of settings from in-patient to private practice, I have yet to encounter a more informative, readable or compelling guide to understanding methods of treatment based on behavioral and cognitive-behavioral theory and principles. Using the technique of “creative non-fiction” the authors have masterfully made real the lives of their clients; their various traumatic experiences, the particular ways each have become “stuck” through maladaptive and self-defeating coping strategies, and most importantly, their individual journeys along the path to healing and recovery. Regardless of one’s primary theoretical orientation or methods (psychodynamic, behavioral, etc.) this book belongs in the library of every clinician and in the hands of everyone who has suffered a significant trauma. It’s greatness lies also in the fact that even those who have had the good fortune to suffer only life’s “usual and expected” bumps and bruises would benefit from the wisdom in its pages.
Review by Steven Parlato, Childhood Sexual Abuse Survivor and Simon Pulse author of The Namesake and The Precious Dreadful
“The profound therapeutic bond between co-authors, Dr. Matt Jaremko and Beth Fehlbaum is the generous heart of TRAUMA RECOVERY: SESSIONS WITH DR. MATT. In this ‘roadmap,’ an engaging mix of clinical expertise and fictional therapy sessions, they offer survivors and families practical tools necessary for healing—and an essential element: hope.”
“This uniquely structured book shares stories and strategies for rebuilding shattered lives after trauma. Trauma isn’t something one chooses. The helplessness in its wake can feel permanent, enduring, and completely dis-empowering. Despite what you might think prior to reading this book, you will come to see that indeed, you still have choices–about your response! Tender and skillful methods exist to support you to move you beyond coping and into thriving! Using personal stories combined with teaching research based methods of emotional healing, Beth and Dr. Jaremko gently and lovingly help you to restore hope, one song at a time.
Here’s the podcast of an interview with Matt E. Jaremko about Trauma Recovery: Sessions with Dr. Matt. The Psych Files is an award-winning Psychology Podcast. Matt was honored to be interviewed by Dr. Michael Britt.
About the discussion, Dr. Britt said, “I have to say I was moved. What you’re doing in this therapeutic process makes a lot of sense to me and I’m happy to help get your words into a lot of ears. I hope people who need help are motivated by the episode.”
What others are saying about Trauma Recovery: Sessions with Dr. Matt
This is my first experience reading what is described as creative nonfiction. The format is perfect for the collaboration between authors Dr. Matt E. Jaremko and Beth Felhbaum. Dr. Matt’s instructive discussion combined with Ms. Felhbaum’s fictional narrative based on personal experience help readers understand PTSD in a way that is unparalleled.
It seems one of the unique things about individuals suffering from PTSD would be the painful memories and experiences that surface when those individuals must confront their past. Unfortunately, this results in sufferers not seeking treatment. TRAUMA RECOVERY: SESSIONS WITH DR. MATT provides a breakdown of what is necessary for patients to breakthrough the barriers.
Within the chapters Dr. Matt offers instruction in the key components of PTSD as well as what patients confront along their road to recovery and adjustment after their trauma. These facts are supported by Fehlbaum’s fictional recreation of actual therapy sessions so readers can experience scenarios in a “fly on the wall” perspective.
Both authors make it clear that those suffering from PTSD aren’t helped by comments telling them to “just get over it” or “relax, don’t think about it” that many family members and friends are inclined to suggest. I am not close with anyone who has suffered severe trauma, but I do know someone who suffers from chronic depression. TRAUMA RECOVERY suggests that it is impossible to know what is happening in someone else’s mind, and I fully support this idea. The realization that we can’t truly understand the internal struggles of a survivor of trauma is instrumental in encouraging a survivor to get help from a professional like Dr. Matt.
The two-pronged approach to explaining PTSD in this book makes it useful reading for many. Those learning to cope after a trauma can be helped with the step by step techniques described by Dr. Matt. His reassurances that being “stuck” can be dealt with help his patients learn to recognize warning signs and how to deal with them. Ms. Fehlbaum, having her own personal experience with trauma, is able to describe some of the internal symptoms and feelings of sufferers. The fact that the six patients featured in the therapy sessions portrayed in the book all suffered from different traumatic experiences reveals that PTSD can be caused by a variety of traumas. Since most discussions of PTSD are associated with soldier and wartime trauma, the inclusion of other examples will help broaden the understanding of the issue.
Another unique aspect of this book is the inclusion of “play lists” at the end of each section. The authors include music and movies that further the discussion in each section. This is perfect for many who seek additional support or reassurance from other mediums. I found myself jotting down suggestions from these lists for future review.
Overall, I would recommend TRAUMA RECOVERY: SESSIONS WITH DR. MATT to anyone wanting to better understand PTSD and how to understand those suffering from the condition. I want to thank author Beth Fehlbaum for her bravery in confronting her own trauma and then sharing what she learned with others. Thank you for the opportunity to read this pre-release copy of your collaboration with Dr. Matt E. Jaremko.