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Zalusky, S. (2005). September 11: Trauma and Human Bonds Edited by Susan Coates, Jane L Rosenthal, and Daniel S Schechter Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press, 2003, 312 pp., $47.50 ISBN 0-881633-81-X. Int. J. Appl. Psychoanal. Stud., 2(4):413-415.
   

(2005). International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 2(4):413-415

September 11: Trauma and Human Bonds Edited by Susan Coates, Jane L Rosenthal, and Daniel S Schechter Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press, 2003, 312 pp., $47.50 ISBN 0-881633-81-X

Review by:
Sharon Zalusky, Ph.D.

It is impossible to review a book entitled September 11: Trauma and Human Bonds in the usual way. I believe it is difficult to have ordinary expectations for a book that touches us in an extraordinary way. The premise of this book seems to be that there is an inverse relationship between trauma and human relatedness. As Coates suggests, “Facing a dangerous situation with others is quite different from facing a dangerous situation alone. And the memory of terrible events can be made more tolerable when shared with others” (p. 3).

Though the intent of this book was scholarly, bringing together and separately in a complex fashion, clinical research on trauma, developmental psychopathology, interpersonal psychobiology, the emergent neurobiology of attachment and separation, epidemiology, and social policy, nevertheless, there is this experiential quality to reading this book. I believe everyone who engages September 11 Trauma and Human Bonds will be given the opportunity to connect with others who have struggled to understand the personal meaning of this national trauma in order to help others with the healing process. What makes this book unique is that both reader and author have experienced (albeit in their own way some more immediate, some more distant but nevertheless important) the same life-altering national and personal trauma. Though this book was first conceptualized before 9/11, our shared trauma adds poignancy to an already painful, difficult, and immensely important topic.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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