Healing Together

Healing Together

Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D and Dianne Kane, D.S.W.

This book helps couples understand and cope with the physical, emotional and cognitive effects of trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from war, brain injury, violence, accidents, crime or health problems.

Presented as a practical, step-by-step program, this resource is especially helpful for service members and veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) returning home from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Full Description

Traumatic events can lead to emotional reactions ranging from anxiety and depression to post traumatic stress disorders (PTSD). The person may have been seriously injured or been in a life-threatening situation. Whether the trauma occurred during a car accident,  plane crash, flood, tornado or war, it can affect relationships with a partner or spouse. This guide helps couples recognize and recover from the emotional impact of physical and psychological trauma, learn how to communicate their needs, manage anger, deal with traumatic memories, recapture lost intimacy, and recognize their resiliency as a couple.

Presented as a practical, step-by-step program, this guide is especially helpful for individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) returning from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Reviewer comment….

This book is very timely and will be invaluable for returning service members and their families who are affected by PTSD as they adjust to living with family and in the community. It has clear explanations for family members and is filled with exercises and suggestions for dealing with the emotional trauma from an accident, wartime conflict or natural disaster. This is also an excellent resource for counselors, social workers and psychologists who are providing therapy and support for individuals and couples. – Marilyn Lash

ISBN# 1-57224-544-1
Pages 208 pages, 6 x 9, softcover
Year 2008


Suzanne B. Phillips, Psy.D., ABPP
As a psychologist, Suzanne Phillips has worked with couples and with trauma for over twenty-five years. She is adjunct professor in the clinical doctoral program of Long Island University and is on the faculty of the postdoctoral programs of the Derner Institute of Adelphi University, NY, and the Suffolk Institute for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, NY. She has published in the trauma field, trained professionals, and provided direct service to help civilians and uniformed responders cope with trauma. She and Dianne Kane created Couples Connection, a program used to help more than 400 firefighter couples recover after 9/11. She is co-editor of Public Mental Health Service Delivery Protocols: Group Interventions for Disaster Preparedness and Response. She is also in private practice in Northport, NY.

Dianne Kane, DSW, CGP
A clinical social worker, Dianne Kane has been involved in the development and delivery of employee assistance and trauma intervention services to uniformed personnel in the New York City area since 1994. She is currently assistant director of the counseling unit serving the Fire Department of New York City and, in that capacity, has been instrumental in the post-9/11 recovery effort for a workforce of over 13,000 personnel. She and Suzanne Phillips worked with over 400 FDNY couples assisting in their recovery from trauma. Kane has been on the faculty of Hunter College School of Social Work since 1988. She is coauthor of FDNY Crisis Counseling: Innovative Response to Firefighters, Families, and Communities.



Chapter 1: Something Traumatic Has Happened

Chapter 2: Couples Psychological First Aid

Chapter 3: Is Anyone Else Angry?

Chapter 4: Dancing in the Dark: Reclaiming Sexual Intimacy

Chapter 5: Memories, Dreams, and Secrets: Finding a Place for Trauma

Chapter 6: Healing Together: Enhancing Couple Resilience

Recommended Reading


How to Use This Book

This book is divided into six chapters.

Chapter 1offers an understanding of trauma and how it looks by inviting you to consider trauma through the eyes of different couples.

Chapter 2defines and teaches a couple’s version of psychological first aid, a natural and informal system that partners can use to help lower the impact of trauma on one another.

Chapter 3 discusses the relationship between anger and trauma and the ways in which anger masks feelings like helplessness, shame, and loss. We’ll look at issues such as “the fight worth having,” behaviors that serve to fuel the fight, anger management for couples, and the role of forgiveness.

Chapter 4 offers ways to recapture and reclaim your intimacy and sexual connection. We’ll address the impact of sexual and nonsexual trauma on sexual desire and functioning and offer strategies for dealing with the fallout from post-traumatic stress symptoms. We’ll clarify the concepts of desire and receptivity, the meaning of saying yes and saying no, capturing and keeping the romantic moment, and dealing with pornography.

Chapter 5 helps you find a place for the trauma, it guides you toward understanding and helps you work together to integrate traumatic memories, utilize dreams, and rescript nightmares.

Chapter 6 invites you to recognize and enhance your resilience as a couple as you move into your future. We’ll discover how to use that resilience for healing in connection with your personal attributes, hardiness, positive outlook, problem-solving skills, laughter, and shared values. You’ll consider the meaning of help and the possibility of post-traumatic growth.

Conculsion The chapters offer you understanding and skills to bring you together through this journey that you never expected to take.

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