A Vietnam Trilogy, Vol. I: Veterans and Post Traumatic Stress, 1968, 1989, 2000

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Algora Publishing, 2004 - History - 232 pages
The large numbers of psychiatric casualties from war used to be attributed to an underlying psychiatric disorder presenting the classic blame-the-victim scenario. When they were finally classified as what is now known as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), the path was opened for more realistic and fruitful healing techniques. A Vietnam Trilogy, a three-volume work, describes a care-givers and numerous veterans perspectives of what happens to combatants during war, the therapeutic processes fostered by an innovative Department of Veteran Affairs treatment program directed by Dr. Scurfield, and the pioneering return trips he co-led to peace-time Vietnam in 1989 and 2000. Volume One relates the experiences of veterans and care-givers who participated in these therapeutic efforts, offering others an opportunity to gain a sense of what is entailed. For families, care-givers, students and teachers of history, and others, the book provides a glimpse from the participants view of the shock, the horrors, the overwhelming stress and the mindset that were so damaging to personnel in the war zone, as well as of the extraordinary courage and strength necessary to survive. Finally, it offers insight into creative therapeutic approaches and recommendations for veterans and those who wish to help them recover from the traumas of war. Through the wrenching stories of numerous veterans and the authors own understanding as a mental health professional who served in Vietnam, A Vietnam Trilogy reflects Scurfields three-fold experiences. He describes his and his comrades experiences in 1968, when he served as an Army social work officer attempting to help acute battlefield psychiatric casualties; Scurfield describes the healing process fostered by an innovative Department of Veteran Affairs treatment program and precedent-setting return trips he led to peace-time Vietnam in 1989 and 2000. A Vietnam Trilogy offers Vietnam veterans and other veterans a chance to share in the healing by relating the experiences of those who participated in these therapeutic efforts, and it offers recommendations to veterans and those who wish to help them. These therapy breakthroughs for veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are now the model for innovative programs across America; and they will be the foundation for programs to help todays veterans of the Iraq War. A Vietnam Trilogy is about a side of war that for decades pro-military and pro-defense advocates have systematically suppressed, minimized and denigrated as being falsely exaggerated the indelible and profound human cost of war on its participants that can and does persist for decades. The 3.14 million Vietnam war-zone veterans and 800,000 Vietnam-theater veterans suffering full or partial post-traumatic stress syndrome, and their families will find it invaluable. Especially in the post 9/11, post-Iraq world, this trilogy is important reading for academics and mental health professionals including graduate and under-grad students in history, psychology, social work and religion, and professionals in psychiatry, clinical nursing, counseling, and religion, and academic specialists interested in study-abroad programs.
 

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Contents

Chapter 1 Troubled War Veterans Overblown Myth Or Reality?
1
Chapter 2 Preparing for War
9
Chapter 3 Getting There
15
Chapter 4 Trying To Move On
61
Chapter 5 Two Decades And A WakeUp
67
Chapter 6 The Controversial Plan
113
Chapter 7 Return To Vietnam 1989
129
Chapter 8 Aftermath and Reflections
187
A Vietnam Trilogy
201
Key Points
213
Bibliography
219
Index
229
Acknowledgments
233
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