Beyond Invisible Walls is a stunning, groundbreaking accomplishment. Lindy and Lifton, two pioneers in the field of traumatic stress research, have blended clinical insights into the ways in which totalitarian nation states create trauma to manipulate individuals, cultures, and intergenerational patterns of communication. This brilliant book pushes the envelope of understanding psychological trauma and post-traumatic effects to society. It develops new conceptual paradigms of trauma, psychotherapy, and psychohistory. This book will be a classic and is a 'must read' |o John P. Wilson, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Cleveland State University, and Past-President, International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
Beyond Invisible Walls: The Psychological Legacy of Soviet Trauma, Eastern European Therapists and Their Patients, is a huge book, many times larger than its 251 pages. It raises a multitude of issues, such as the effects of trauma and loss, the role of the outer world in the development of self, the correspondents of the analysts, and patients, experience, and the resilience of the human being subject to the most extreme conditions. The reader does not expect any final resolution but is left deeply appreciative of the attempts and hungry for more. Clearly, this book is not a final product. One fervently hopes that it will be widely read and a beginning. |o The American Journal of Psychoanalysis
The editors went through a commendable effort to locate Eastern European practitioners and recover their voices. This psychohistorical approach is an exemplary attempt to do "history from below" by linking individual biographies to political culture. The various contributions deal with such diverse aspects as the links between childrearing practices, pathology, and the political system, and the effect of dislocation, war, and torture on individual patients. Some of the chapters (especially the chapter on Romania) can be harrowing reading, attesting to the grossest of human rights abuses. |o Journal of History of the Behavioral Sciences, Spring 2003
Edited by two significant contributors to the trauma literature, this book examines the long-lasting personal and multigenerational imprint of Soviet trauma and the ongoing stresses of life after Communism, and promises to be a classic work of value for years to come. Through the voices of East European clinicians from six countries, we learn of their professional lives under traumatic conditions and of their clients' lives, under similar conditions. The clinicians share case studies of clients ranging in age from childhood to late adulthood. Through the course of treatment, the psychopathologies resulting from living under oppressive conditions became clear. These effects are so powerfully widespread that the clinicians themselves discover that in order to treat their clients they must also explore and understand their own traumatic past. First-person narratives are interspersed with psychological theory and techniques, providing a full, rich understanding of the experience. Newly sensitized by international terrorism, we are now more aware than ever of the impact of a pervasively traumatic climate. Studying trauma in the Soviet era, has much to teach us regarding the fears of today. This book will be of interest to psychologists, historians, social psychologists, readers in political science, and mental health professionals at all levels, particularly those who work with individuals who have suffered trauma from political oppression or genocide.
Preface. Introduction. Legacy of Trauma. Cziser, Katona, Hungary: Replacing a Missing Stone. Bernhardt, East Germany: Absorbing the Sins of the Fathers. Cuclicio, Romania: A Time of Yielding. Konkov, Russia: An Emptiness Within. Jernazian, Kalayjian, Armenia: Aftershocks. Muacevic, Croatia: Old Scars, New War. Lindy, Invisible Walls. Lifton, Trauma as History. Afterword.
Jacob D. Lindy, MD, has worked as a clinician and researcher with trauma survivors for over 25 years. He is currently co-director of the University of Cincinnati Traumatic Stress Study Center, and guest teacher at institutes in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia.
Robert J. Lifton, MD, is a leader in the study of trauma and history of the twentieth century. He was a key figure in the revitalization of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) in the 1980s and the creation of the IPPNW, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning extension of the PSR allied with Russian medical colleagues.