The End of Trauma
How the New Science of Resilience Is Changing How We Think About PTSD
George A. Bonanno
A top expert on human trauma argues that we vastly overestimate how common PTSD is and fail to recognize how resilient people really are
After 9/11, mental health professionals flocked to New York to handle what everyone assumed would be a flood of trauma cases. Oddly, the flood never came.
In The End of Trauma, pioneering psychologist George A. Bonanno argues that we failed to predict the psychological response to 9/11 because most of what we understand about trauma is wrong. For starters, it’s not nearly as common as we think. In fact, people are overwhelmingly resilient to adversity. What we often interpret as PTSD are signs of a natural process of learning how to deal with a specific situation. We can cope far more effectively if we understand how this process works. Drawing on four decades of research, Bonanno explains what makes us resilient, why we sometimes aren’t, and how we can better handle traumatic stress.
Hopeful and humane, The End of Trauma overturns everything we thought we knew about how people respond to hardship.