trauma

    Trauma is a fact of life. Veterans and their families deal with the painful aftermath of combat; one in five Americans has been molested; one in four grew up with alcoholics; one in three couples have engaged in physical violence. Such experiences inevitably leave traces on minds, emotions, and even on biology. Sadly, trauma sufferers frequently pass on their stress to their partners and children.

Renowned trauma expert Bessel van der Kolk has spent over three decades working with survivors. In The Body Keeps the Score, he transforms our understanding of traumatic stress, revealing how it literally rearranges the brain’s wiring—specifically areas dedicated to pleasure, engagement, control, and trust.

      Peter Rhee is the trauma surgeon who helped save Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.

He has just written a memoir, Trauma Red: The Making Of A Surgeon In War And In America's Cities, about his upbringing in South Korea and Africa to the gripping dramas he faces in a typical day as a medical genius.

    Trauma does not just happen to a few unlucky people; it is the bedrock of our psychology. Death and illness touch us all, but even the everyday sufferings of loneliness and fear are traumatic.

In The Trauma of Everyday Life renowned psychiatrist and author of Thoughts Without a Thinker Mark Epstein uncovers the transformational potential of trauma, revealing how it can be used for the mind’s own development.

WAMC's Ian Pickus speaks with Dr. Jeffrey Berman, a distinguished teaching professor of English at the University at Albany and the author of Death Education in the Writing Classroom.