Trauma and the Struggle to Open Up

From Avoidance to Recovery and Growth
Robert Muller
W.W. Norton 2018
ISBN 9780393712261


Trauma and the Struggle to Open Up: From Avoidance to Recovery and Growth

From the author of Trauma and the Avoidant Client. How to navigate the therapeutic relationship with trauma survivors, to help bring recovery and growth.

In therapy, we see how relationships are central to many traumatic experiences, but relationships are also critical to trauma recovery. Grounded firmly in attachment and trauma theory, this book shows how to use the psychotherapy relationship, to help clients find self-understanding and healing from trauma.

Offering candid, personal guidance, using rich case examples, Dr. Robert T. Muller provides the steps needed to build and maintain a strong therapist-client relationship –one that helps bring recovery and growth. With a host of practical tips and protocols, this book gives therapists a roadmap to effective trauma treatment.


“Dr. Robert T. Muller has provided a gem of a book for clinicians working with persons who have experience psychological trauma. It is beautifully written, drawing on the accumulated wisdom of experts in the trauma field, and richly illustrated with descriptions of his work with clients. Dr. Muller explores the complex relational dynamics of work with traumatized patients and charts a thoughtful course to their treatment. His wisdom clearly comes from deep understanding of how his clients have experienced their lives, and his skill in walking with them through the process of recovery.” - James Chu, MD, Consultant in Psychiatry, McLean Hospital; Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

“Every therapist interested in helping clients with developmental trauma should read this book. A jewel of clinical wisdom, it focuses not only the content of trauma, but on the relational process of being with highly traumatized clients, and how to understand and work with the many avoidance strategies to dealing with trauma that we encounter in therapy. An approachable, culturally sensitive, and compassionate book, full of clinical vignettes, it illustrates the neglected but essential need to stay with the process: what a client feels when telling the story, how the client experiences telling the story to someone else, what happens in the therapeutic relationship when the client tells the story. A joy to read.” - Kathy Steele, MN, Past President, International Society for the Study of Trauma & Dissociation

“Building on his first book-Trauma and the Avoidant Client-this second beautifully written book, with skillfully drawn cases, guides therapists toward an understanding of work with clients suffering from unresolved traumatic experiences. With moving and relevant vignettes, Dr. Muller masters the nuances of how to work toward healing, and how we unwittingly hinder healing. This book is essential reading for therapists of all disciplines who work with clients struggling with unresolved traumatic experiences.” - Clare Pain, MD, Director of the Psychological Trauma Program, Mount Sinai Hospital

“An incredibly useful book showing you how to understand and manage therapy with relational trauma. Grounded in attachment theory, trauma theory, and psychotherapy research, it demonstrates the importance of repair of relationship difficulties.” - Leslie S. Greenberg, PhD, Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus, York University

RRP: $54.95

Special Price $43.96