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Read the Acclaim

What these respected authors say about Common Shock

"If we have any hope of preventing violence—whether at home or abroadówe witnesses must expand our capacity for self-awareness, vision, and empathy. Drawing on her experiences as a therapist, and her work in such recovering societies as Kosovo and South Africa, Kaethe Weingarten masterfully guides the way, showing how 'common shock' can leave us haunted, but can also make us better at extending a hand or a shoulder to others."
—Samantha Power, author of A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide

"Reading Kaethe Weingarten's Common Shock is an extraordinary experience. In this beautifully-written book, she takes us by the hand and walks us safely back through the "thousand shocks" of our lives—personal and collective—and reveals why we have been in so much pain from what we have seen. Remarkably, she then teaches us how to transform our shock by becoming 'compassionate witnesses.' It is impossible not to be touched by her vision. Kaethe Weingarten's writing has the power to heal lives."
—Michael Thompson, co-author of Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys

"Kaethe Weingarten does an excellent job of explaining the trauma and stress we experience as witnesses to both major and minor acts of violence. She integrates the psychological and biological effects, and gives us comprehensive advice on how to cope with the common shocks none of us can escape. This book is must reading for everyone working in violence prevention."
— Alvin F. Poussaint, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School and Judge Baker Children's Center

"Knowledge is increasing at the fastest rate in history, but wisdom is as rare as ever. Clearly we need both, which is why this extraordinary new book is so welcome and important. Just as Freud taught us how much we could learn by paying attention to the 'psychopathology of everyday life,' so Kaethe Weingarten has expanded our awareness of the traumas of everyday life. These are the common shocks that we all experience, but which we often minimize or ignore since they are not as obvious as the atrocities or disasters to which most discussions on trauma and stress have been restricted. This book shows how emotional death can be caused by a thousand small cuts, which in their cumulative impact can be just as deadly as one big one. In writing this book, Dr. Weingarten has made a wonderful contribution to our capacity to understand and survive these repeated emotional wounds far more effectively than we have been able to up to now. She has written an original, compassionate and deeply moving study of a phenomenon that affects us all.."
—James Gilligan, M.D., President of the Center for the Study of Violence
and author of Violence: Reflections on a National Epidemic and Preventing Violence

"Common Shock is an essential resource that could not be more timely. Grounded in rigorous research on violence and its legacies, it offers practical and effective responses to any of us who witness violence up close or from afar."
—Margot Stern Strom, Executive Director of Facing History and Ourselves

"This powerful, compelling, extensively researched, important book shows that whether we remain passive bystanders or compassionate witnesses and actors profoundly affects not only other people and the nature of the world around us, but also our own inner world, our own lives and happiness. The book combines scientific knowledge, clinical experience, and the wisdom of an acute observer of human life. Every one of us will be greatly enriched by reading it."
—Ervin Staub, author of The Psychology of Good and Evil

"Through introducing the concept of common shock and its antidote witnessing, Kaethe Weingarten transforms this world of violence into the way of compassion. A must for every conscious citizen of the world."
— Deena Metzger, Author of The Other Hand and Entering the Ghost River: Meditations on the Theory and Practice of Healing.

"This is a book for our time. Finally, an intelligent and compassionate understanding has been written about the deeper reality of stress, trauma and the shocks of our global era of rapid change. This is a must read book for all who are interested and concerned with traumatic stress, PTSD and the perfusion of common shocks into the American psyche. A thoughful integration and synthesis which should be carefully studied by clinicians, academics and policy
—John P Wilson, Ph.D., Professor, Cleveland State University, Fulbright Scholar and Past President, The International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies

"Kaethe Weingarten's Common Shock is an extraordinary contribution to the field of trauma studies. She not only gives a compelling account of the impact of witnessing violence and other stessful life events on individuals, families and society as a whole, but also a practical guide for taking responsibility in relation to these experiences and transforming them into advocacy and political action."
— Jack Saul, Director, International Trauma Studies Program, New York University