War and the Soul: Healing Our Nation's Veterans from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
The New England Journal of Medicine reports that 16 percent (one in eight) of returning Iraq veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Such vets typically can’t hold jobs. They are incapable of intimacy, creative work, and self-realization. Some can’t leave the house because they are afraid they will kill or be killed. The key to healing, says psychotherapist Ed Tick, is in how we understand PTSD. In war’s overwhelming violence, the soulthe true selfflees and can become lost for life. He redefines PTSD as a true identity disorder, with radical implications for therapy. First, Tick establishes the traditional context of war in mythology and religion. Then he describes in depth PTSD in terms of identity issues. Finally, drawing on world spiritual traditions, he presents ways to nurture a positive identity based in compassion and forgiveness. War and the Soul will change the way we think about war, for veterans and for all those who love and want to help them. It shows how to make the wounded soul whole again. When this work is achieved, PTSD vanishes and the veteran can truly return home.
A Veterans Look at War and the Soul
By Robert Cagle "Bob" - December 1, 2005
I am a combat vet of the Viet Nam era. I purchased a copy of Dr.Tick's book WAR AND THE SOUL last week. I can't begin to express how deeply it affected me as a veteran, a father and as a man. Edward Tick has brought out into the open the essence of the problem with the aftereffects of war. We are of the "don't talk about it and it will just go away," generation. I'm referring to the loss or corruption of every mans' soul as a result of the horrors of war, and the lack of a true warrior class in America as DR. tick describes it. Like no other terror on earth, war is so traumatic that indeed one's soul may be lost forever. However, it does not have to be that way. We indeed may regain intimacy, trust and a purposeful life if treated as humans with souls, not like men having to be drugged with antidepressants to keep us away and out of public sight.
Edward Tick's book is from his soul, from many years of
providing psychotherapy to veterans and winning the... read more
The book to end all wars?
By John C. Rhead - December 3, 2005
It appears that Dr. Tick got in over his head. He started out using traditional psychotherapy to treat Vietnam Veterans suffering from PTSD. Fortunately he had the sense to realize that PTSD was more than a mental health issue and, seeing he was in over his head, he learned how to swim. The currents carried him far from shore, to places where he could see that behind the emotional wounds of his clients were spiritual wounds and that what needed healing were their souls, where such wounds are inflicted. He discovered ancient methods for healing such wounds, and adapted them to the current times. He also discovered that the impulse toward making war emerges from a deep and primitive place in the collective unconscious, and has more to do with initiation into noble and honorable spiritual warriorhood than the massive death and destruction which modern warfare has achieved. He concludes that war cannot be waged for power or domination without causing great spiritual harm to those... read more
By Barry Cass "robopastor" - February 6, 2007
As a peace activist from way back and also the father of a Marine who has had two tours of duty in Iraq, I found this book to touch my heart, open up conversation between my son and me and give me a better understanding of the struggles our vets face. A couple days after reading this I had a chance to talk about it with my Marine son and used the insights I had found here to open the deepest conversation we have had in years. The soul-dimension of war is seldom considered, but Tick's treatment makes it clear that there are real and important struggles being faced by vets from all our previous wars. I gained a wealth of knowledge and understanding, and highly recommend Tick's book to parents, spouses, children and friends of returning vets, as well as the vets themselves.
At the dawn of the twentieth century, British intelligence agents began to venture in increasing numbers to the Arab lands of the Ottoman Empire, a region of crucial geopolitical importance spanning ...