"The Trauma Heart" by Judy Crane is an exceptionally informative and useful book for those who have experienced trauma and addiction, their friends and families, and the professionals dedicated to helping them. Crane makes the bold assertion that addicts "are not bad people trying to be good, [but] wounded people trying to heal."

About Judy Crane

As a certified therapist and founder of two trauma-focused treatment centers- The Refuge and The Guest House- Crane offers a unique perspective on addiction. Particularly considering she is an addict in recovery herself.

While working with addicts and their families for around thirty years, she realized that addiction was about much more than the substances themselves. Addiction is almost always the result of unresolved trauma. Subsequently, she developed a mantra that she repeats and alludes to throughout the book:

"When you unravel the trauma story, the [addictive] behaviors make sense. When we can make sense of our behaviors, the behaviors of our loved ones, the behaviors of the people around us, healing can take place."

"The Trauma Heart" does much more than offer textbook-worthy technical terms, theories, and strategies. It explains in layman's terms trauma, its influence on addiction, and the expectations of the professionals guiding their patients towards healing.

Furthermore, the book supports every claim made through the telling of actual stories of healing experienced by patients and professionals that Crane has encountered and worked with throughout the years.

The format of the book is incredibly powerful. The reader can find bits and pieces of themselves, their own life stories, or those of the people they know and love in each story told.

They can find inspiration and hope in the profound healing, forgiveness, love, and compassion experienced by the addicts and their families. This is very evident in the stories disclosed of treatment, recovery, and holistic healing people experienced through sharing and working through their trauma histories.

Readers can heal too

The book also encourages the reader to engage in the experience of exploring their own stories. It provides the reader with the opportunity to examine their own traumas and subsequent behaviors, so they can begin their own journey of healing as well. Each chapter closes with "Reflective Sketches," which are mostly a series of questions that challenge the reader to take a more in-depth look at themselves and at their lives.

If you are ready or even just interested in beginning to truly understand addiction or to begin the process of unraveling your own story, dive right into Crane's book. Only once you understand your story can you rewrite it.