The Truth about Trauma and Dissociation: Everything You Didn't Want to Know and Were Afraid to Ask

Author(s) : Valerie Sinason

The Truth about Trauma and Dissociation: Everything You Didn't Want to Know and Were Afraid to Ask

Book Details

  • Publisher : Karnac Books
  • Published : October 2020
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 168
  • Category :
    Trauma and Violence
  • Catalogue No : 95252
  • ISBN 13 : 9781913494087
  • ISBN 10 : 191349408X
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The Truth about Trauma and Dissociation is a relational guide which empowers the reader to understand traumatic experience and its aftermath without a loss of feelings. It introduces the key concepts of trauma and dissociation with an easy-to understand breakdown of conditions and themes for therapy. This is a compelling and sensitive introduction, and may well be Sinason’s most significant publication to date.

Reviews and Endorsements

This amazing little book helps each of us to speak and understand the unspeakable. Are we brave enough to know the truth in this dangerous but lifegiving journey? The book warns and encourages us that knowing can retraumatise at each life stage but also make us strong. Enjoy the clarity and beauty of Valerie's whistle-stop tour of trauma and dissociation.
Baroness Hollins, Emeritus Professor, University of London; Emeritus President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists

Valerie Sinason ventures into troubled emotional spaces to hear what we don't know and, often, don't wish to know. In plain language she has enabled us to see forms of cruelty and the psychic consequences which lead to the extreme splitting of psyches into dissociated and multiple self-states ... A book of interest to clinicians and a much wider audience.
Dr. Susie Orbach, Psychoanalyst and founder of The Women's Therapy Centre, London, and The Women's Therapy Centre Institute, New York, and author of Fat is a Feminist Issue, The Impossibility of Sex and Bodies

I think ‘truth’ is the key, emphatic word here because Valerie’s narrative strips trauma of the protective veils society unconsciously cloaks it in to shield itself from the horrors it boasts whilst declaring dissociation a very real, effective and resourceful defence to cushion its devastating, destructive, demonic blows. As somebody who has a thirst for literature in the field of traumatology, this book is unique in its presentation, balancing truth with endearing quirkiness and offering a relational space where the reader is both student, vicarious client and therapist, a valued, cherished and important member of society and above all else, someone the author wishes to educate and encourage to pause for reflection and introspection in the face of the ravages of trauma.
The book is confronting in its nakedness, stripping trauma bare in all guises: sexual abuse, torture, the Holocaust, war in all its presentations including the invisible war we are globally held hostage to - coronavirus and many more atrocities. Knowing the horrors of trauma intimately and having read about trauma prolifically, I thought I was immune to the stark realities this book describes but I, too, wrestled with recoiling in my reading of the indiscriminate war imposed on us by the invisible evil of Covid.
I applaud Valerie in this outstanding achievement and above all else, my parts and I thank her profusely for giving us a voice and making the world sit up and listen. The rest is down to all of us.
Michele Jowett, ESTD UK

This is a small but powerful and thought-provoking book written by a leader in the field of dissociative studies. [...] Sinason writes at her best, with evocatively worded phrases and powerful metaphors. [...] And the device of starting and ending with the same short poem was brilliant, and one of the ways that Sinason tried to actively engage her readers. She also writes with a deeply humane voice—non-judgemental, caring, and compassionate to us when we cannot bear to know or cannot help some-one.
Susan Wright

Table of Contents


1. The coronavirus and other plagues
2. An overview
3. What is trauma?
4. A bunch of fives: A mathematical trauma education!
5. Definitions: Further definitions for curiosity and clarity
6. Dissociative identity disorder
7. 7 War and atrocity
8. A further cornucopia of concepts
9. An ending that cannot conclude


About the Author(s)

Valerie Sinason is a poet, writer, child psychotherapist and adult psychoanalyst. She is Founder Director of the Clinic for Dissociative Studies and President of the Institute for Psychotherapy. She is an Honorary Consultant Psychotherapist at the University of Cape Town Child Guidance Clinic and Chair of Trustees of the First People Centre, New Bethesda, South Africa. She is a Patron of Dorset Action on Abuse (DAA), editor of Trauma Dissociation and Multiplicity and co-editor of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy after Child abuse. She has published numerous articles and books, including two poetry collections. Valerie Sinason was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the ISSTD (International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation) in April 2016.

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