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Reviewed Publisher: 
Love Publishing, Denver CO. 448 pages, ISBN: 978-0-89108-349-8.
Reviewed Title: 
Healing Developmental Trauma: A Systems Approach to Counseling Individuals, Couples and Families (2010)
Reviewed Author: 
Publication Date: 
October, 2010
Starting Page: 
Page Count: 

Healing Developmental Trauma: A Systems Approach to Counseling Individuals, Couples and Families (2010) presents an expanded paradigm for understanding the pervasive influence of early shock, trauma and stress on humanity's evolution. It also presents a comprehensive clinical approach for healing the long lasting effects, which the authors assert, are the primary causes of human suffering.

The product of twenty-five years of research by Janae and Barry Weinhold, clinicians, former university professors, and prolific authors, this book advances the practice of counseling, social work, prenatal and perinatal psychology, developmental psychology, traumatology, family systems therapy, and complementary medicine. It examines the long-term impact of subtle and often overlooked relational shocks, traumas, and stresses that occur during the prenatal & perinatal, bonding, and separation stages. Using a systemic perspective, this knowledge is applied to the subsequent development of individuals, couples and families. The Trauma Continuum, which differentiates developmental shock, trauma, and stress as distinct psychobiological states, is a breakthrough concept. The continuum clearly and elegantly distinguishes among the types of trauma by brain function, time orientation, autonomic nervous system response, and intervention tools for healing them.

This book presents Developmental Process Work (DPW) as a comprehensive intervention model for healing developmental shock, trauma and stress in individuals, couples, families, and organizations. DPW helps clear the imprints of shock, trauma and stress from the central nervous system, resolves intractable conflicts, rebuilds fractured relationship dynamics, helps restore deep emotional resonance in intimate relationships and teaches people how to regulate their emotional states. DPW is a relational modality that recognizes the therapeutic relationship itself as the primary resource for healing developmental shock, trauma or stress.

The foundation for Healing Developmental Trauma is the Weinholds' four-stage meta-theory, Developmental Systems Theory (DST). This theory describes how developmental shock, trauma, and stress are transmitted via individuals, couples, families, groups, organizations, and nation-states through intergenerational fractal patterns of recapitulation. Without healing, the end result is the delay of human evolution. The book is dedicated, in part, to those who feel responsible for the "seventh generation yet unborn." Detailed theoretical foundations are presented, including contributions from the field of prenatal and perinatal psychology.

This book presents a practical and hopeful approach for healing developmental trauma by:

* Synthesizing new research from the fields of pre- and perinatal psychology, attachment theory, quantum biology, developmental psychology, traumatology, brain development, energy medicine, and mindbody approaches such as the German New Medicine.

* Simplifying the highly technical and contradictory clinical language from the field of traumatology and translating it into a more accessible conceptual and clinical framework.

* Introducing The Trauma Continuum to help practitioners differentiate among symptoms of shock, trauma and stress.

* Expanding the traditional definitions of shock, trauma and stress to include the long-term effects of subtle and often overlooked relational disconnects during prenatal & perinatal development.

* Describing the effects of subtle relational shocks, traumas or stresses during conception, gestation and birth and how they create propensities towards certain kinds of illnesses and degenerative diseases.

* Heightening readers' sensitivity to the often overlooked social, emotional and relational needs of children.

Healing Developmental Trauma is essential reading for anyone working with people who have experienced relational shock, trauma or stress. These helpers include counselors, marriage and family therapists, social workers, mental health professionals, childcare professionals, educators, health care professionals, midwives, and legal professionals. It is also valuable for use in college courses. It is filled with scientifically sound and proven interventions for helping people heal, and includes many helpful tables, diagnostic inventories, and case examples.