From terrible to trite… [Review of the book From Trauma to Transformation]

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Reviews the book, From Trauma to Transformation by Muriel Prince Warren (see record 2006-03012-000). The reviewer believes this book is a disorganized, rambling, uninformed, and poorly written text. The only reason the reviewer finished reading the book was because of the commitment to write this review. The book's scholarship-or lack of it-is even worse than the book's organization. The author makes mistakes that a good student in an introductory psychology course would know enough to avoid. She does not seem to realize that multiple personality disorder has been termed dissociative identity disorder since at least 1994 (APA, 1994), states that a diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) requires two months to have gone by (it is actually one), confuses psychopathy with psychopathology, incorrectly states that there have been no national studies of reactions to 9/11 (see, e.g., Schuster et al., 2001; Silver, Holman, McIntosh, Pouli, & Gil-Rivas, 2002), fails to refer to the critical literature on critical incidental debriefing (e.g., Bisson, 2003), and disregards most of the vast literature on psychological reactions to trauma. It is also remarkable that in a book that "centers on the innovative applications of hypnotherapy to help trauma victims" (back cover), the author fails to even show awareness of international guidelines developed specifically in this regard (Cardeña, Maldonado, Van der Hart, & Spiegel, 2000). The writing is substandard, but here the publisher, Crown House, deserves at least equal blame. One would expect a competent copy editor to know the difference between prostrate and prostate and effect and affect and to know how to spell anecdote, among many other mistakes. More important, the writing is full of incoherent, illogical, and trite statements (among them, that "introspection" is an unconscious process; that hypnosis "relaxes" the amygdala; that after trauma, physiology become biology; and so on). Finally, the reviewer cannot avoid highlighting the deplorably ethnocentric perspective throughout the whole book. The author repeatedly states that we live in a new world because everyone in the United States has been traumatized by the 9/11 attacks, ignoring the fact that many inhabitants throughout the world (including many areas of the United States) have been severely traumatized by other disasters such as war, famine, and physical and sexual violence, among others. This book would not get a passing grade as an undergraduate psychology term paper; why the author and the publisher believed that it was worth publishing surpasses the reviewers comprehension.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)[np]
JournalContemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books
Issue number28 Article 3
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Bibliographical note

Reviewed Work(s):
From Trauma to Transformation (by Muriel Prince Warren)

Retrieved July 13, 2006, from the PsycCRITIQUES database.

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Psychology


  • psychotherapy
  • therapy
  • transformation
  • trauma


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