Trauma and Recovery by Dr. Judith Herman


Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence – From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror is revered as the seminal text on understanding trauma survivors. By placing individual experience in a broader political frame, Harvard psychiatrist Judith Herman argues that psychological trauma is inseparable from its social and political context.


Judith Herman, M.D., is professor of psychiatry, emerita, at Harvard Medical School and Director of Training at the Victims of Violence Program at Cambridge Hospital. Herman is also a founding member of the Women’s Mental Health Collective. She was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and the Woman in Science Award from the American Medical Women’s Association, and is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

Herman is the author of two award-winning books, Father-Daughter Incest (Harvard University Press, 1981; second edition, 2000) and Trauma and Recovery (Basic Books,1991; second edition, 1997).

Dr. Herman writes a book about how survivors of violent crimes come to terms with those who have offended against them. She will focus on the population she has been studying and treating for thirty years: victims of child abuse, rape, and domestic violence. The situations of these victims, who are often intimately related to their abusers, presents a challenge to traditional ways of thinking about crime and punishment.

After graduating from Radcliffe College, Herman went on to earn her MD from Harvard Medical School. Among her honors and distinctions are a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, a Bunting Institute fellowship at Radcliffe, a Manfred S. Guttmacher Award from the American Psychiatric Association and American Academy of Psychiatry and Law, and a Women in Science Award from the American Medical Women’s Association.

In Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence – From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror, Dr. Herman uses on her research on incest, as well as a vast literature on combat veterans and victims of political terror, she shows surprising parallels between private horrors like child abuse and public horrors like war.

Hailed by the New York Times as “one of the most important psychiatry works to be published since Freud,” Trauma and Recovery is essential reading for anyone who seeks to understand how we heal and are healed.
In this groundbreaking book, a leading clinical psychiatrist redefines how we think about and treat victims of trauma. A “stunning achievement” that remains a “classic for our generation.” – Bessel van der Kolk, M.D., author of The Body Keeps the Score.


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