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BLOG: Hope for Post-traumatic Growth

When holidays like Mother’s Day hurt, and hope that they won’t always do that

I used to have to “write out” Mother’s Day in the form of a post– like– a long blog post or a poem or some kind of reflection. And I didn’t do it this year…unless you count this one, but the purpose of this is a lot different than those sorts of gutteral “I’ve gotta …

Guest Post: When Mom Took Off the Mask

Beth here: with my daughter’s permission, I’m sharing a piece she wrote in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. She reflected on what it was like when I “took off the mask” I wore as a result of being sexually abused as a child and expected to maintain a facade of “everything’s fine.” When Mom …

Trauma Recovery: Sessions With Dr. Matt is now available for pre-order!

We are thrilled to announce that our book, Trauma Recovery: Sessions With Dr. Matt is now available for pre-order! More stores will follow, but these are the current sites showing the pre-order info: Amazon U.S. Amazon Canada Amazon U.K. Waterstones Books- U.K. & Europe   Trauma Recovery: Sessions with Dr. Matt conveys hope and resilience …

What Trauma Recovery Does to Your Close Relationships

By Beth Fehlbaum, Matt E. Jaremko, and guest contributors Preface Beth Fehlbaum and Matt E. Jaremko, co-authors of the forthcoming book, Trauma Recovery: Sessions With Dr. Matt, address some of what happens to folks as they go through trauma recovery. In this installment, Matt and Beth discuss what can and does happen to the relationships …

How Does One Identify an Experience as a Trauma?

By Matt E. Jaremko and Beth Fehlbaum Our title might sound somewhat nonsensical. Of course, if you have experienced a trauma, you will know it. However, admitting that you have experienced trauma may not be as straightforward as you might think. Folks can tend to underplay the extent to which they deserve care and attention. …

Our Other Books

Matt E. Jaremko

Cognitive-behavioral Reflections on Some Dimensions of Personality. Publisher: University Press of America (1980). 232 pages. Paperback (Out of Print). “…[viewing] personality from a scientific perspective.”
Amazon

Stress Reduction and Prevention. Ed. with Donald Meichenbaum). Publisher: Plenum (Third Printing 1989). 498 pages. Hardcover (Out of Print/Available from private sellers). For almost ten years, this volume was considered one of the best descriptions of the clinical implementation of stress management treatments. First published in 1983, the fact of it being printed three separate times illustrates the import and staying power of this book.
Amazon

Beth Fehlbaum

Courage in Patience. Publisher: Steady On Books, (Revised 1st edition 2016) (First published in 2008 by Kunati, Inc.). 264 pages. Paperback (11.99) / e-book (.99)

Courage in Patience Excerpt
Amazon

Review from Booklist

Nine-year-old Ashley Asher was pleased when her mother started a relationship with Charlie Baker. Charlie, Ashley thought, would be the father she never had. She was 9 then; now 15, she recounts the story of how her dream life soon turned to nightmare, commencing with the first time Charlie touched her inappropriately. For years she tolerated it—not only the sexual abuse but also the emotional manipulation her stepfather inflicted on her—until one day she confronted both Charlie and her mother. To Ashley’s horror, her mother sided with Charlie, leaving the teenager to find her own way, prompting her to reestablish a connection with her biological father. Though the subject matter is undeniably dark, Fehlbaum manages to keep the tone surprisingly light and hopeful. This hard-hitting but readable story about an infinitely troubling subject will resonate with all readers but especially with other survivors of abuse or with those who work with those survivors. –Mary Frances Wilkens –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Hope in Patience. Publisher: Steady On Books (Revised 1st edition 2016) (First published in 2010 by WestSide Books.). 262 pages. Paperback (11.99) / e-book (3.99) / Hardcover (from WestSide Books 16.99)
                                    Award: 2011 YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers.

Hope in Patience Excerpt
Amazon

Review from School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up—Ashley Asher lives with her father and stepmother in a tiny town in East Texas. She wants what any 15-year-old might want: friends, a supportive family, a special relationship with a boy. But Ashley struggles to stop harming herself, to stop dissociating, to accept the support of the people around her. Before she came to Patience, Ashley spent most of her childhood with an indifferent mother and an abusive stepfather. Now she faces the huge challenge of healing from emotional neglect, as well as sexual and physical abuse. She tries, but trust is so hard to come by. And the challenges keep coming. There’s a court date when she must face her abuser and the mother who rejects her for reporting the assaults. And a first date on Halloween turns into a disaster when an actor playing a ghoul triggers a posttraumatic reaction in Ashley. All this is tough stuff, but very real to anyone who has lived with abuse or suffered from PTSD. The author is to be applauded for her courageous and accurate portrayal of the many small steps that lead toward psychological healing. It is Ashley’s friendships with other “misfits,” as much as the support of her new family and her unconventional therapist, that help Ashley understand that she is not alone and that she, too, deserves love. Teens who are attracted by her honesty and her compelling story will come away with a deeper understanding of trauma and healing. This book will open hearts and might well save lives.—Carolyn Lehman, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA

Review from Booklist

This follow-up to Courage in Patience (published in 2008 as a book for adults) finds 15-year-old Ashley trying to make a fresh start with her father while still haunted by the sexual abuse of her stepfather. With all sorts of help, Ashley begins the difficult, sometimes painful journey toward finding the courage and confidence to begin real healing. The book’s strength lies in its intimate portrayal of the impact of abuse and PTSD, and Ashley’s emotions almost always ring true. Some intense, graphic scenarios appear here, including Ashley’s descriptions of her physical abuse and her occasional self-mutilations. Grades 10-12. –Shelle Rosenfeld –This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review from Children’s Literature

A YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers “The author is to be applauded for her courageous and accurate portrayal of the many small steps that lead toward psychological healing. It is Ashley’s friendships with other ‘misfits’ that help Ashley understand that she, too, deserves love. This book will open hearts and might well save lives.” –School Library Journal “Ashley’s struggles to make friends in a new school, to fit in, to figure out who she is are normal teen issues even if her personal history is not. Even readers who have not been abused will connect with Ashley and her friends. Their voices are real. Their struggles are real.”–Children’s Literature
Truth in Patience. Publisher: Steady On Books, (2016) 266 pages. Paperback (11.99) / e-book (3.99)

Truth in Patience Excerpt

Amazon

Big Fat Disaster. Publisher: Merit Press/Adams Media, a division of Simon & Schuster. 286 pages. Paperback (9.99) / Hardcover (17.99) / e-book (9.99).

Award:
Texas Library Association Spirit of Texas High School Reading List Winner. Kirkus Reviews Starred Title

Big Fat Disaster Excerpt

Amazon

From Kirkus (Starred):
Colby’s life as the heavy daughter of a disapproving former Miss Texas beauty queen is difficult enough, but it gets worse very quickly once she discovers a photo of her politician father kissing another woman. She and her mother and little sister move to a trailer in a tiny Texas community. She has an agonizing first day of school crammed into blue jeans so tight that she needs a coat hanger to pull the zipper up—and then she discovers that her cousin made a video of her trying to get into her jeans, which gets posted to Facebook. Colby copes with each terrible event the way she always has, with huge amounts of sweets followed by shame, and spirals ever deeper into depression. Readers experience the events through Colby’s present-tense narration, hearing her perceptive take on people: “Mom does that: She nods and smiles even when she thinks the person speaking is full of shit….” Fehlbaum draws a razor-sharp picture of Colby’s judgmental grandparents, her quirky teachers and, most of all, Colby herself and her terrifying mother, who can’t empathize at all. When Colby finally gets help at the end from a therapist and others, Fehlbaum makes it clear that her road ahead will be long and hard.

Colby’s experiences, while extreme, ring true, and the fast pace, lively and profane dialogue, and timely topic make it a quick and enjoyable read. (Fiction. 12-16)

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