About the Book

Front Cover Forward-Facing Trauma TherapyI know from personal experience how traumatic stress can shatter lives, destroy relationships, and leave us utterly devoid of the sense of hope and self-worth that makes life worthwhile. But it doesn't have to be that way. We can learn to eliminate the destructive effects of stress and achieve an enduring sense of joy, self-worth, and personal integrity.

In Forward-Facing Trauma Therapy, you and I will take a journey from hardship to healing. We'll begin by exploring some of the common myths and misconceptions about the causes and meaning of stress. We'll examine the destruction it can wreak on our bodies, our minds, our spirits, and our relationships. We'll discover the triggers that can lead us to act reflexively in ways that we deeply regret afterwards.

Then, we'll learn how to gently move out of this reflexive reactivity. Most importantly, we'll consider what it means to live an intentional life and how cultivating the skill of interoception, or "bodifulness," can help us achieve this essential goal. Along the way, I'll share some inspiring stories about women and men I've known who successfully put these lessons into practice; vanquishing stress, regaining their resilience, and finding new joy, optimization, and fulfillment in their lives.

Since launching my clinical practice in 1990, I've had the privilege of walking with thousands of patients as they've confronted their pasts and healed their hurts. Along the way, my colleagues and I have developed a set of principles and techniques for eliminating stress and resolving trauma that have transformed my own life in ways that are far-reaching and profoundly positive. Now, I'm honored to share them with you. I hope you'll accept them in this spirit and begin your own journey of healing and transformation.

If you take the lessons of this book to heart and - in the parlance of 12-step fellowships, "work the steps" - you will experience new hope and inspiration. You will feel lighter and more fully yourself. And, one fine morning, you may awaken to find that you have achieved something remarkable that may have previously seemed utterly inconceivable. The stress and fear that once plagued your life is gone forever. You have set yourself free.

Now let the journey begin.

J. Eric Gentry, Ph.D., LMHC

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