The Trauma Heart: Stories of Survival, Hope, and Healing by Judy Crane
Judy Crane, author, therapist, speaker, and founder of Florida’s The Refuge and The Guest House treatment centers, is no stranger to trauma and drug abuse. In the introduction to her new book, The Trauma Heart: Stories of Survival, Hope, and Healing, Crane writes,
I have been shot and stabbed and had many black eyes and broken bones. I have been arrested multiple times and I have been held physically and emotionally hostage. I have spent three weeks in a psychiatric hospital with methamphetamine psychosis, and a shattered elbow in a cast . . .
In my wildest dreams, and I have many wild and amazing dreams for my life, I never would have expected to find recovery at forty-two, complete my master’s degree at age fifty, become licensed as a therapist at fifty-two, and start a treatment center at fifty-seven . . . I have always been a “late bloomer.” In my wildest dreams, I never expected to be a leading voice for trauma treatment or trauma resolution or the many aspects of the intertwining of trauma and addiction, trauma and mental health, and trauma and behaviors. I am a therapist, a teacher, a writer, and a thought leader. I stand on stages all over the world and openly share my experience, my strength, and my hope. I am an expert at helping to heal wounded souls of trauma, and I could never have imagined a greater life’s purpose to make a living amends for my past.
This is why readers will find that Crane is uniquely poised to write and share stories of healing and hope to those who have experienced trauma in their lives. Through The Trauma Heart, Crane helps readers relate to their own histories; examine the meaning of trauma and addiction; and really engage in the reflective sketches, the assignments, and the personal stories provided in the book.
The Trauma Heart shares personal stories, and stories of a variety of Crane’s clients and a variety of trauma issues—from childhood sexual abuse and PTSD to addiction issues and self-harm. She tackles the nature of secret-keeping, relapse, overdose, and many other factors that contribute to trauma. Aside from client stories and Crane sharing her knowledge and expertise, The Trauma Heart features extremely moving poems and artwork to provide even more meaning and depth to what the book is trying to relay.
At the end of each chapter, Crane presents readers with insightful questions by means of reflective sketches and assignments, urging them to take a more active role in reading the book and applying it to their own life. Some of the questions Crane asks are,
- “Why did you buy The Trauma Heart?”
- “Do you have secrets that you’re keeping?”
- “Has your ‘shininess’ been tarnished?”
- “Have you ever said to yourself, ‘I will not do or say what my parents or caregivers did?’”
Crane writes that healing her “‘trauma heart’ has been the greatest gift, and I continue that work today with my own therapist because as long as I live, life brings challenges. I face them in the here and now, and if I don’t, I pay the price of deeper pain.” The Trauma Heart aims to help readers do the same: learn, heal, and ultimately “dreaming big” and living their lives to the fullest.
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