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The Wounds Within: A Veteran, a PTSD Therapist, and a Nation Unprepared

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As America’s longest wars end, hundreds of thousands of veterans and their families struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The Wounds Within follows the iconic case of Marine Lance Corporal Jeff Lucey, who deployed early in the Iraq War, battled PTSD after returning home, and set his family on a decade-long campaign to reform the Veterans Affairs system and e As America’s longest wars end, hundreds of thousands of veterans and their families struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The Wounds Within follows the iconic case of Marine Lance Corporal Jeff Lucey, who deployed early in the Iraq War, battled PTSD after returning home, and set his family on a decade-long campaign to reform the Veterans Affairs system and end the stigma around military-related mental health issues. Their story is told uniquely from the perspective of Jeff’s psychotherapist, Mark Nickerson, an internationally recognized expert on trauma treatment. Driven by the family narrative, and by later case histories of Nickerson’s veteran clients, the book explains PTSD and the methods by which it can be treated. With coauthor Joshua Goldstein, an award-winning author, Nickerson engages the big issues of America’s attempts to cope with the millions of returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan—from belated reforms to overwhelmed military families to clueless civilians who can’t get beyond “Thank you for your service.” The Wounds Within combines a moving and compelling human drama with national policy and a clinical explanation of how to heal veterans’ traumas. It will stand as the definitive account of PTSD in those who fought America’s latest wars, and a much-needed source of information for their loved ones.


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As America’s longest wars end, hundreds of thousands of veterans and their families struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The Wounds Within follows the iconic case of Marine Lance Corporal Jeff Lucey, who deployed early in the Iraq War, battled PTSD after returning home, and set his family on a decade-long campaign to reform the Veterans Affairs system and e As America’s longest wars end, hundreds of thousands of veterans and their families struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The Wounds Within follows the iconic case of Marine Lance Corporal Jeff Lucey, who deployed early in the Iraq War, battled PTSD after returning home, and set his family on a decade-long campaign to reform the Veterans Affairs system and end the stigma around military-related mental health issues. Their story is told uniquely from the perspective of Jeff’s psychotherapist, Mark Nickerson, an internationally recognized expert on trauma treatment. Driven by the family narrative, and by later case histories of Nickerson’s veteran clients, the book explains PTSD and the methods by which it can be treated. With coauthor Joshua Goldstein, an award-winning author, Nickerson engages the big issues of America’s attempts to cope with the millions of returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan—from belated reforms to overwhelmed military families to clueless civilians who can’t get beyond “Thank you for your service.” The Wounds Within combines a moving and compelling human drama with national policy and a clinical explanation of how to heal veterans’ traumas. It will stand as the definitive account of PTSD in those who fought America’s latest wars, and a much-needed source of information for their loved ones.

40 review for The Wounds Within: A Veteran, a PTSD Therapist, and a Nation Unprepared

  1. 5 out of 5

    Christi Winkelman

    A powerful look at what PTSD is and how it affects those left to deal with these wounds. Read this if you want to understand it better. Don't read this if you are looking for a solution. If you imagine this to be a self-help book, keep looking. There are a couple of resources and help lines mentioned but for the person currently struggling they will be frustrated at the lack of concrete solutions and the "end" results. It is a book that is intended to put light on the problem the nation is silen A powerful look at what PTSD is and how it affects those left to deal with these wounds. Read this if you want to understand it better. Don't read this if you are looking for a solution. If you imagine this to be a self-help book, keep looking. There are a couple of resources and help lines mentioned but for the person currently struggling they will be frustrated at the lack of concrete solutions and the "end" results. It is a book that is intended to put light on the problem the nation is silently facing with the hope that the more educated we are about what our veterans are facing, the more empowered we are to make the changes to help them heal.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lauren McVeigh

    This book takes a minute to process and get through in order to really appreciate all that it is saying. It did an amazing job weaving a story of a veteran with good mental health information.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    This is an excellent book about the consequences of war on our veterans. The beginning of the book focuses on one of the first soldiers to commit suicide after coming home from Iraq. He suffered, not because of what was done to him, but because of what he was forced to do to others. Our government is ever willing to place this burden on our soldiers, but offers little to help them adjust to society when they return. I had the pleasure of meeting the author, who is an excellent therapist and extr This is an excellent book about the consequences of war on our veterans. The beginning of the book focuses on one of the first soldiers to commit suicide after coming home from Iraq. He suffered, not because of what was done to him, but because of what he was forced to do to others. Our government is ever willing to place this burden on our soldiers, but offers little to help them adjust to society when they return. I had the pleasure of meeting the author, who is an excellent therapist and extremely sensitive to the issues that veterans face. His explanation of PTSD is excellent. His descriptions about what goes on in therapy, especially with EMDR, are very well-written and make the experience more understandable to therapy novices. The parents of the young man who killed himself have dedicated themselves to doing whatever they can to prevent further suicides among our veterans. This book definitely made me want to do more for veterans and their families. It is possible to hate war but love our warriors.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Baird

    Excellent book for the layperson describing a young veteran's experiences with war, post-9/11, and his symptoms of PTSD. Written by a local Western Massachusetts EMDR psychotherapist, Mark Nickerson weaves Jeff Lucey's gripping struggle into an account how lethally PTSD can wreck a soldier's life, and the (lack of) resources offered by our military and veteran branches. The first half of the book depicts Lucey's life and service in the Reserves, as well as the struggles of his family in helping Excellent book for the layperson describing a young veteran's experiences with war, post-9/11, and his symptoms of PTSD. Written by a local Western Massachusetts EMDR psychotherapist, Mark Nickerson weaves Jeff Lucey's gripping struggle into an account how lethally PTSD can wreck a soldier's life, and the (lack of) resources offered by our military and veteran branches. The first half of the book depicts Lucey's life and service in the Reserves, as well as the struggles of his family in helping him deal with his emerging PTSD symptoms upon return to home from a tour of duty. The second half speaks more globally about PTSD, EMDR treatment of PTSD symptoms, and activism of civilians and military to increase services for veterans returning home from traumatic war. A must-read for anyone interested in how our soldiers fair after spending months and years overseas in the service of our freedom.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    Intense and truthful. I'm amazed though in dealing with the VA that some of the things the Lucey Family faced is still the same...although waiting times have decreased, they're still there. And you will find not everyone cares enough that works at the VA to make an effort to reach out versus making the struggling veteran or their families search for answers. Still a very compelling read and great recommendation by a fellow veteran wife.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jacquelyne

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tara

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jacki

  10. 5 out of 5

    Amy Maurizio

  11. 5 out of 5

    Miss Jaime

  12. 5 out of 5

    Luke Cummings

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tracey Cruickshank

  14. 5 out of 5

    Maureen Sroczynski

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tara

  16. 5 out of 5

    Gloria Susan Simon

  17. 5 out of 5

    Katherine Iorio

  18. 4 out of 5

    Troy

  19. 4 out of 5

    Craig

  20. 5 out of 5

    Katherine

  21. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

  22. 5 out of 5

    Scott F. Trippe

  23. 4 out of 5

    Reanna

  24. 4 out of 5

    David A Scholton

  25. 5 out of 5

    Katie

  26. 4 out of 5

    Stacy

  27. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

  29. 4 out of 5

    Hillary Renner

  30. 5 out of 5

    Robert

  31. 5 out of 5

    Julie Bookwalter

  32. 5 out of 5

    Lizzy (Bent Bookworm)

  33. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn

  34. 5 out of 5

    Katie Charbonneau

  35. 4 out of 5

    Yesenia Rodriguez

  36. 4 out of 5

    Julianna Mendez

  37. 5 out of 5

    Angela Easterbrook

  38. 4 out of 5

    Janice Doyama

  39. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

  40. 4 out of 5

    Paige

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