LIBRARY

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Struggle Well: Thriving in the Aftermath of Trauma

 

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The Posttraumatic Growth Workbook

 

 

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Transformed by Trauma: Stories of Posttraumatic Growth

 

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“If you haven't read hundreds of books, you are functionally illiterate, and you will be incompetent, because your personal experiences alone aren't broad enough to sustain you.”
— General Mattis

The powerful and blunt words of General Mattis, also known as the Warrior Monk, speak to perhaps the most important ingredient needed as you walk the road from struggle to strength — curiousity. Being curious about yourself, about other people and their stories, and about the world, will nurture and sustain you through the troughs of life, and inspire you to reach the peaks. At Boulder Crest, we believe in mining our stories, training, and experience for the benefits of others, and being voracious readers. With that in mind, this page features information about the books written by Boulder Crest Foundation's Founder, Ken Falke, and Josh Goldberg, the Executive Director of our Institute; as well as those written by our Distinguished Chair, Dr. Richard Tedeschi, and Vice Chair, Dr. Bret Moore. 

STRUGGLE WELL: THRIVING IN THE AFTERMATH OF TRAUMA

 

 

All of our lives are filled with ups and downs, triumphs and tragedy, success and stress. The question is not whether we will experience difficulty, challenge, or trauma; it is what we will do in response to such events and experiences. While the dominant narrative of cultures around the world suggests that trauma diminishes our prospects for a great life, Richard Tedeschi, Bret Moore, Ken Falke, and Josh Goldberg know differently. Rich, Bret, Ken, and Josh have dedicated their lives to ensuring that people can grow in the aftermath of trauma, and live great lives — filled with Posttraumatic Growth. This remarkable book harnesses the power of all their experience, and the incredible true stories of combat veterans and military and veteran family members who have transformed loss into gain and pain into purpose.

 

“Over the past four years, Ken and Josh have built a world-class program on the conviction that physical and mental trauma can actually present opportunities for personal transformation and growth. With leadership, training, and structure, they encourage, motivate, and inspire the confidence that helps people overcome life's challenges. Struggle Well is innovative, brilliant, and important — and it works.”
— Admiral Eric T. Olson, (Ret.) U.S. Navy  
Former Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command

REVIEWS

"Struggle Well is a breakthrough book that deals honestly with the needs of men and women who have been deeply impacted by war and other traumatic events. Pills, unsolicited and thoughtless advice and ill conceived "treatments" have done little to address the deep needs of warriors and first responders. What Ken has created at Boulder Crest and what he now lays out in "Struggle Well" is by far the best effort currently underway. The approach isn't new, it builds on deep truths. Suffering sucks, but it can be ennobling. How we respond to trauma of every kind is a choice - our final freedom. This book lays out a practical way how to, quoting Dusty's colorful phrase, "un-f*** yourself". We have to do the work and it can't be done if we have no hope. I'm grateful that Ken and Josh tell it like it is in their new book. There's no BS between these covers, no therapeutic gobbledygook and no magic. But there is hope and a roadmap that we all can follow."

 
 

"This paragraph early in the book caught my attention right away:

'We’ve learned in working with veterans that their problems have a lot more to do what they are coming home to, rather than what they are coming back from. The military teaches men and women how to be Soldiers, but no one teaches them how to live a meaningful and productive life out of uniform. In truth, no one teaches civilians how to do that either—until now.'

The authors explore the problem of PTSD in a way that looks at the whole person and their life story, not just a single experience. It's incredibly insightful. Anyone interested in this topic should pick this book up, you will not regret it."

TRANSFORMED BY TRAUMA: STORIES OF POSTTRAUMATIC GROWTH

 

“A hero is an ordinary person that performs extraordinary acts under the most challenging of circumstances. I can think of no label more appropriate for the remarkable men and women who share their stories with all of us in Transformed by Trauma. Their experiences provide inspiration, guidance, and hope, and remind us that we are all capable of not simply surviving our circumstances, but thriving because of them.”
— Master Chief Edward Byers
US Navy (Retired), Medal of Honor Recipient

 

 

All of our lives are filled with ups and downs, triumphs and tragedy, success and stress. The question is not whether we will experience difficulty, challenge, or trauma; it is what we will do in response to such events and experiences. While the dominant narrative of cultures around the world suggests that trauma diminishes our prospects for a great life, Richard Tedeschi, Bret Moore, Ken Falke, and Josh Goldberg know differently.Rich, Bret, Ken, and Josh have dedicated their lives to ensuring that people can grow in the aftermath of trauma, and live great lives — filled with Posttraumatic Growth. This remarkable book harnesses the power of all their experience, and the incredible true stories of combat veterans and military and veteran family members who have transformed loss into gain and pain into purpose.

“As a combat veteran who walked the road from struggle to strength in my own life, I know what the journey of Posttraumatic Growth is all about. I also know that there is no one better to learn from about how to achieve Posttraumatic Growth in your own life than the authors of this remarkable book, and the incredible men and women featured in it. Transformed by Trauma is a captivating, inspiring, and powerful roadmap for how to live a great life in the aftermath of tragic and traumatic events.”
— Rocky Bleier  
4-Time Super Bowl Champion and Vietnam Veteran

THE POSTTRAUMATIC GROWTH WORKBOOK

 

 

There is no denying the psychological and physical costs of trauma, but suffering a traumatic experience does not necessarily mean you’ll develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and have to live with its debilitating long-term symptoms. While the process of recovering from trauma is difficult and painful, survivors also experience posttraumatic growth (PTG). And with the right approach to healing, the same challenges that create PTSD can also set the stage for a psychological rebirth.

With this guide, you’ll learn more about traumatic experiences and their short- and long-term effects, discover where you are in your own process, explore vulnerability as an important aspect of post-traumatic strength, identify and develop other strengths for coping with—and growing beyond—your trauma, and successfully integrate your experience into your personal story.

“If there were no trauma, there would be no posttraumatic growth. When trauma happens, a new path begins. This path may be full of sorrow and despair, but we are not alone. In spite of trauma, we can grow as people. This book offers the key to unlocking our true potential.”
Kanako Taku, certified clinical psychologist in Japan
associate professor in the psychology department
at Oakland University

REVIEWS

"I am a clinical psychologist and work everyday with survivors of military, sexual, and childhood trauma. Nowadays, it seems that there is a knee-jerk reaction to assume that those who have experienced trauma are disabled with PTSD, and that they might be dangerous to themselves or others. The truth is somewhere in the middle. While PTSD is a real condition and has led some people down very dark paths, it does not have to be permanent nor does it have to be life damaging. Proof of this is that most people go through traumatic events and do not develop PTSD. The Posttraumatic Growth Workbook is a quality guide that walks survivors through the successful process that “resilient” or “hardy” individuals do psychologically. The workbook is written for the survivor, and requires them to journal throughout: about their symptoms, their inner beliefs, their strengths, their support groups, their sense of purpose, and more. The astute clinician will see that these writing assignments are clearly informed by the evidence of what helps survivors succeed (cognitive-behavioral therapy principles) minus the focus on repeatedly re-visiting the traumatic events (as in Prolonged Exposure). Those who have successfully navigated the path after experiencing a trauma will attest that loving relationships and a new sense of meaning about life are key. Survivors who are struggling post-trauma would be wise to read this and do the assignments. If you know someone who is struggling, buy this for him or her. Clinicians would be wise to incorporate this into their treatment program: I have."

"Drs. Richard Tedeschi and Moore have created both a prescription and a guide for turning bad into good, and trauma into triumph. This workbook is a step by step guide to examining the wreckage in a new way and seeing it for what it really is; an opportunity - for personal growth, to help others and to live a powerful, purpose filled life."
"I had spent a great deal on my own journey of healing and growth, and been struck by the lack of hope, direction, and forward movement to all of the guidance, therapy, and support I received. This book is incredible in its warmth, clarity, and capacity to nurture growth. In a world where we are taught that trauma is inherently diminishing, this workbook offers not simply a counter message, but the path to get there. Thanks Dr. Tedeschi and Dr. Moore for putting this done in such an effective form. I highly recommend for those struggling and stuck, and those who help others in the same place. Travel well!"
 

OTHER BOOKS BY DR. TEDESCHI AND DR. MOORE

THE BOOKSHELF: BOOKS WE RECOMMEND