News You Can Use

News You Can Use – September 2017

New Book by Philip Kinsler
Complex Psychological Trauma: The Centrality of Relationship

ISSTD Fellow and past President of ISSTD, Dr. Philip Kinsler has written a book which he describes as ‘forty years in the making’. This is a book which aims to take clinicians beyond the standard approaches for treating PTSD. As the title suggests, this book highlights the therapist-client relationship as the most significant dimension in healing. While this is increasingly being recognised in psychotherapeutic research and practice, Complex Psychological Trauma: The Centrality of Relationship goes beyond acknowledgement. Relationship is the central element of Kinsler’s approach. Here, the focus is on the major choice points that establish the relational conditions for growth and change.

In Complex Psychological Trauma: The Centrality of Relationship clinicians will find specific guidance for acting in a relationally healing manner. Ample case examples mean that this book is full of practical and realistic advice to support therapists through the most challenging therapy situations.

The three part volume includes:

Part One: An introductory exploration of core questions and concepts in relationship based trauma therapy;

Part Two: ‘Theoretical Lenses’ which is a broad sweep of theory, including, rather refreshingly, contributions from less trauma informed theories. This important part sets the scene for Dr Kinsler to advocate for an integrationist approach to therapy, incorporating both relational and technique based approaches to therapy. This part also established the base for Kinsler’s “Six Choice Points”, key defining moments in trauma therapy which build the therapy relationship and facilitate change.

Part Three expands this further and presents therapy through the framework of these six choice points, framed as ‘six crises’ and these include:

  • The Opening Gambit
  • The First Crisis/Emergency
  • The Empty Depression
  • Omnivorous Rage
  • Rebuilding the Devastated Life
  • Patterns of Termination

Complex Psychological Trauma: The Centrality of Relationship is published by Routledge. It is available on Amazon, where your Amazon Smiles donation can assist ISSTD.

Two New Books on Male Sexual Abuse

Two new books edited by ISSTD member Dr. Richard Gartner promise to add to the therapist’s understanding of the sexual abuse of males. Dr Gartner is a psychologist and psychoanalyst from the William Alanson White Psychoanalytic Institute in New York.  He has written extensively about and advocated for male victims of sexual abuse and has now edited two new books on the subject:

Understanding the Sexual Betrayal of Boys and Men: The Trauma of Sexual Abuse and

Healing Sexually Betrayed Men and Boys: Treatment for Sexual Abuse, Assault, and Trauma

Both books are part of Routledge’s Psychoanalysis in a New Key series edited by Donnel Stern. These interrelated books are an important contribution to the treatment of complex sexual trauma, particularly in areas that differentiate male from female victims of abuse, assault and trauma.

Understanding the Sexual Betrayal of Boys and Men is described as a go-to book for understanding male sexual victimization. This edited volume is divided into four key sections including:

  • Sexually abused men and their challenges describes the impacts of abuse specific to males
  • Research, biology, and medical treatment covers a wide range of topics ranging from survivors’ relationships with their physician through to the latest neurobiological research
  • Institutional and cultural effects includes such topics as sociocultural considerations, interpersonal and institutional dissociation and predatory priests
  • Exploitation and sexuality covers wide-reaching issues such as commercial sexual exploitation of boys, gender and sexual orientation confusion, and sexual dysfucntion

The second volume, Healing Sexually Betrayed Men and Boys, is an authoritative source for treatment of men and boys with histories of sexual victimization.  They require different treatment roadmaps than their female counterparts. This book is also divided into four key sections:

  • Treating men and boys includes a specific chapter on military sexual assault and harassment in addition to chapters on the treatment of men sexually abused as boys; boys in treatment as children; and men who were sexually assaulted in adulthood.
  • Focused treatments includes papers on community and peer connections, substance abuse, treatment of sexual addiction and body work.
  • Women in the picture covers covert seduction and its impacts on survivors, the female therapist’s role and couples therapy with survivors.
  • Perpetrators and perpetrator/survivors includes chapters on profiling offenders and working survivor/offenders, including countertransference with this population.

These books are able companions to an earlier 2017 book also edited by Dr. Gartner: Trauma and Countertrauma, Resilience and Counterresilience: Insights from Psychoanalysts and Trauma Experts (Routledge). This volume brings together a distinguished group of seasoned clinicians, including many prominent ISSTD members, whose personal reflections both acknowledge their own traumatic material and discuss how they have developed models for processing countertrauma arising from long-term exposure to patients’ trauma. Contributors in addition to Dr. Gartner include Judie Alpert, Sandra Bloom, Richard Chefetz, Christine Courtois, Steve Gold, Elizabeth Howell, Karen Hopenwasser, Sheldon Itzkowitz, Phil Kinsler, Karen Saakvitne, and Kathy Steele.

Seeking Student Volunteer 

ISSTD News is seeking someone to take on the job of collating publications of interest. A big thank you to Dan Nothmann for doing the job in previous years and for providing a description of the job. The job entails:

  • Every quarter undertake a search on pubmed or some similar database looking for some recently published articles.  We need about 6 in a quarter.
  • Try to have a theme or focus around which to include articles.  The volunteer can decide this focus or discuss it with a few others. Kate McMaugh (Editor, ISSTD News) would be happy to contribute to that discussion with the volunteer.
  • Get the article information (journal, title, author, etc.), include the abstract and, if possible, find the author’s contact information.
  • Format the above information and send it off to Kate for inclusion in the newsletter.

There is no need to review or comment on the publications. Any volunteers are welcome but it might particularly suit a student who still has access to research databases through university.If you are interested in this position please contact Kate at


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