Tools for Transforming Trauma: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Tools for Transforming Trauma

1st Edition

By Robert Schwarz


260 pages

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Tools for Transforming Trauma provides clinicians with an integrative framework that covers a wide range of therapeutic modalities and a "black bag" full of therapeutic tools for healing trauma patients.


"Tools for Transforming Trauma is a wonderfully resourceful handbook for goal-oriented and effective approaches for overcoming cognitive, affective, and behavioral limitations of traumatic experience and the many sequelae of trauma. All therapists of trauma victims will find valuable ideas and useful guidelines for the comprehensive treatment of their patients in this clear and well-written book." -- Stephen Lankton, MSW, DAHB Training and Consulting, Phoenix, Arizona

"In a highly readable and enjoyable style, Robert Schwarz has succinctly assembled a plethera of valuable information on trauma/PTSD in Tools for Transforming Trauma. I highly recommend this book if you are interested in comprehensive understanding and treatment methods for these conditions." -- Fred P. Gallo, Ph.D., Author of Energy Psychology and Energy Diagnostic and Treatment Methods and Founder of EDxTM

"True to it's title, this highly useful book offers an abundance of practical interventions for psychotherapists seeking to provide relief from PTSD symptoms and empower trauma survivors to live healthier, more rewarding, and productive lives. Also included are a series or fresh and innovative ideas for enhancing caregivers' continued personal and professional growth, self-development and self-care." -- Yvonne Dolan, MA, Author of Resolving Sexual Abuse, A Path with Heart and One Small Step

"Tools for Transforming Trauma is a practical resource manual that will guide clinicans of all persuasions to effectively help PTSD clients reclaim their lives. To effectively treat this tragic problem, Bob Schwarz brings peerless expertise and an integrative perspective, all in eminently readable and easy to digest prose. This is a "must read" for those working in the field of PTSD." -- Jeffrey K. Zeig, Ph.D., Director, The Milton H. Erickson Foundation

"This book contains a wealth of practical and applicable interventions for clinicians to implement with their PTSD patients. Clinicians will enhance their level of knowledge and gain specific treatment skills…The purpose of this book is to provide the reader with both an integrative framework and practical tools for transforming the negative effects of trauma. Additionally, the tools contained in this book are designed to be readable, easy-to-implement, and yet detailed and comprehensive. The author fully accomplishes his objectives and has provided a welcome addition to the field." -- Nicholas Greco IV, Doody Reviews

"This is a fresh and wonderfully crafted guide to helping those who have suffered trauma. The author has made a positive statement with this book and that is this -- complete, well-written, and truly useful books do exist and can do more than merely clutter the field with redundant information. This book adds to the field on many levels and provides relevant information. As an individual who has worked with trauma survivors, I highly recommend this book." -- Nicholas Greco IV, Doody Reviews

Table of Contents



1. Understanding How Trauma Leads to PTSD

The Qualities of the Traumatic Experience

Post-Traumatic Cognitive Processing and Affect Dysregulation

The Recovery Environment

Individual Characteristics

Appraisal and Meaning


Classical Conditioning

Respondent Conditioning

Biology and Energy

The Amplification Circuit

Adaptive Resolutions

Maladaptive Resolutions

Basic Approaches to Treatment: The Consensus View

2. A Neo-Ericksonian Framework for Treating Trauma

Resource-Based Therapy Orientation

Solution and Mastery Orientations as Resources

Well-Formed Outcomes

The Relationship Between Solutions and Problems

Building Maps to the Future

A State of Consciousness Model of Trance and Trauma

Solution-Oriented Therapy and a SoC Model

Principles of Hypnotically Based Therapy

The Utilization Principle

Dissociation and its Utilization

The Narrative Approach

Framing, Defining, and Reframing Experience

Opportunities are Everywhere, You Just Have to Notice Them

A Therapy of Action and Interaction in the Real World

A General Pattern for Treating Trauma

3. The Tools Framework

The TOTE Model

Consistently Achieved Goals Require the Use of Different


Interventions as Assessment and Feedback

Interventions and Assessments as Agents of Change

Translating DSM Diagnoses into Action Plans for Change

An Algorithm for Translating DSM Diagnoses into Action Plans

The Interaction Between Therapist Skill Base and Personal Response

From Tools to Art

4. Tools for Safety, Ego Support, and Ego Growth

Affect Modulation

Creating and Strengthening Boundaries

End State Retraining

5. Tools for Transforming Traumatic Memory

PTSD as a Disorder of Memory

Memory and Healing

Tools for Processing Memory in Phase Two of Treatment

Memory Retrieval Approaches for Traumatic Memories

Memory Distortion, Magnification and Minimization: Clinical and Political Issues


6. The Use of Thought Field Therapy in Treating Trauma

Embrace the Paradigm Shift (Weirdness)

A Brief History of TFT and Energy Therapy

Mechanism of Therapeutic Action

TFT: A Noncathartic/Non Retraumatizing Method

When Treatment Does Not Work

Integrating Energy Treatment Within a Broader Therapy Context

How to Introduce TFT to Patients When You Are Still Learning


7. Tools for the Holistic Self

Own and Value Parts of the Self That Used to Be Disowned and De-valued

Feelings and Experiences

Actions and Stories

Memory and Awareness and the Therapy of "That What Is"

Be Connected to the Resources that Exist Internally and Externally

Finding the Current Problem That Is Represented in the Return of the Past: Taking Healthy Action

Solution-Oriented Questioning to Link Resources

Indentify Social Pressures and Modulate Their Influence on the Person so that the Person Can Choose How to Live


8. If You Meet the "Tool" on the Road, Leave It! - Person-of-the-Therapist Issues

Therapist as Witness

When the Therapy Goes Off Course

Acknowledging Powerlessness (Or, A Person's Got to Know His


When Therapists Cannot Manage Their Own Affect

The Survivor-Therapist

Three Tools for Working with the Therapist-Patient Relationship


Integration and Summary: Beyond Tools and Trauma

Epilogue: Tools for Transforming Terrorism



Other Resources

About the Author

Robert A. Schwarz, Psy.D. is a licensed psychologist, clinical member of AAMFT, and an approved consultant in hypnosis. He has organized eight national conferences on treating trauma, four regional conferences on Ericksonian hypnosis, and two international conferences on brief therapy. He is co-author of Posttraumic Stress Disorder: A Clinician's Guide. He has been practicing psychotherapy and supervision in the Philadelphia area for over 20 years.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychotherapy / General
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health