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Kelly, K.V. (2011). Injured Men: Trauma, Healing, and the Masculine Self. By Ira Brenner. Lanham, MD: Jason Aronson, 2009. 241 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 80(4):1100-1103.

(2011). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 80(4):1100-1103

Injured Men: Trauma, Healing, and the Masculine Self. By Ira Brenner. Lanham, MD: Jason Aronson, 2009. 241 pp.

Review by:
Kevin V. Kelly

This volume presents a curious amalgam of well-written pieces on a variety of psychoanalytic topics. The various issues discussed are linked to each other through the central concept of trauma. Psychoanalytic theories of the dynamics and effects of trauma—both those of the author, Ira Brenner, and of others—are discussed extensively and illustrated with rich clinical material. The topic of healing is less extensively addressed, while the concept of the masculine self is mentioned at several points but not discussed systematically.

The introduction offers a clever paragraph on clichés about manhood (p. xii) and a clear statement of the author's intention: “I realized that most of the volumes on trauma relied on clinical material almost exclusively about women,” so this book is “an effort to remind practitioners … that men too can be victims or survivors of trauma and their presentations may be obscured by a masculine overlay” (p. xiv)—an admirable project. Brenner acknowledges that this is “not intended to be a gender studies book,” and that he is not “trying to promulgate a particular theory of masculinity,” noting “the chapters stand on their own as clinical studies” (p. xiv).

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