Turning Trauma Into TriumphTen Stories of Hope and Growth, Including My Own
What if someone told you that the most difficult period in your life may be a blessing in disguise? As a psychotherapist with 25 years of experience, Richard C. Scheinberg has candidly and succinctly summarized the spiritual and deeply personal transformation of ten people attempting to overcome the worst challenges of their lives. In this inspirational book, Mr. Scheinberg also reveals how he survived the most difficult periods in his own life. Furthermore, he conveys his personal conviction that our common strengths emanate from a source more powerful than any challenges that may come our way.
Inside the Book
IntroductionLessons We Learn as Babies………
- I’m Crazy Enough to Think There’s a Solution to Every Problem…
- We All Have the Same Issues–More or Less……
- Your Personal Connection to the Power of Spirit…
An Excerpt from the Introduction:
…After many years, I have come to realize that my own life challenges were actually blessings in disguise. The profound lessons I’ve learned have taught me that the purpose of my life has been to appreciate keenly the dual reality of life. The deep pain–the traumas–and cathartic realizations–the triumphs–are the contrasts that give life its meaning. After my own long, soul-searching journey from trauma to triumph, I now love life so much that I can’t wait for each new day. I want to learn about and experience everything that life has to offer. With the help of my higher power, I have survived many years of hopelessness and desperation. My own experience dictates the optimism and confidence that I bring to every new client I meet. The affirmation and mantra I repeat silently to myself is "I made it through and so can you."
SECTION ONE: GROWING UP
ONE. Yvonne: Being a Child, Feeling Alone, Then Learning to Trust.
This first story begins by Yvonne (age 21) writing a very candid letter to her mother: "I feel like my entire life I’ve been looked at like I can do anything by myself…and granted it would be wonderful if I could, but I’m only 21 and I need help sometimes…" When I began seeing Yvonne, she was a troubled young woman who hated her parents. Yvonne’s deep emotional pain led to depression, drinking, promiscuous sex and other self-destructive behavior. In the pages that follow, we witness the process of Yvonne "purging" her pain and discovering the path to healing.
TWO. Carol: Growing Up the Perfect Child and Discovering Your True Self as a Wife and Mother.
Carol had serious thoughts of "ending it all." She was desperate for some emotional relief as soon as possible. She had always been the "perfect" child, wonderful mother, and faithful wife, but in the process she lost sight of her wants and needs. In fact, she even lost a sense of her own identity. In therapy, Carol soon discovers that she is actually a very angry person. But suppressing her anger has led her into a deep depression. Releasing this anger helped Carol process her feelings and find relief from her deep depression and thoughts of suicide.
THREE. Therese: Growing Up with Sexual Abuse, Then Learning to Enjoy Sex and Forgive Your Past
As an adult, while showering with her husband, Therese suddenly recovers an image of being a young girl in the shower with her father. This led to her recovering several memories of sexual abuse. In this story, we witness Therese’s painful retelling of the events, mixed in with her "already-conscious" lifelong fear of her father. As a woman in her twenties, we "watch" Therese face her worst fears and finally stand up to her father, setting clear physical and emotional boundaries. In addition, we watch Therese do something very rare in clinical literature: in her determination to salvage a good relationship with her father, we see how Therese miraculously takes the upper hand in the relationship.
Testimonials"It’s very rare that a book comes along that is so thought-provoking about life. It made me reflect about my own life and start to truly understand ’How did I get here?’ I started reading and I couldn’t put it down! I loved it in its entirety and I can’t wait to read it again!"
–Michael D’Amico, Medical Programming Engineer, Selden, New York
"I was so impressed. Richard Scheinberg writes in an accessible, heartfelt manner that is intelligent and enlightening. This book will transform the life of every person who reads it! I was uplifted and inspired. What a compassionate man he is! His clients are truly blessed."
–Diane Nichols, MA, CEAT, Educator, Expressive Arts Therapist, Seattle, Washington
"An amazing book! This collective work shines a light on the trials and tribulations of the human condition. Through clarity, love and compassion, Richard Scheinberg empowers his patients to move forward in a positive dance of life."
–Dr. Vivienne Finnegan, MD, Melbourne, Australia
"A deeply personal and inspirational reaffirmation of a gifted therapist’s journey through life after overcoming his own personal challenges, to assist others in ‘Turning Trauma into Triumph’ "
–Deborah Poerio, APRN, MS, FNP, C, Manchester, Connecticut
FOUR. Paula: Being Sexually Violated…and Then Finding Your Power.
Paula was depressed and unhappy in her marriage. We discover quickly that much of her pain can be traced back to several instances of being sexually abused, starting in the stairwell of her junior high school! In a between-sessions letter to the therapist, Paula painfully discloses several other instances as well. Then she describes, in writing, the worst incident of all: While in college and while dating "Matt," she finds herself in a very vulnerable position, and Matt ends up violently raping her!
Now as a woman in her thirties, we see how Paula's disclosure begins a much-longed-for healing process. The freedom to talk openly becomes the cornerstone of her new sense of assertiveness and strength.
FIVE. Lenny: Trauma… Finding Reassurance After 9/11.
In this chapter, we meet Lenny, a five-year-old who lives in New York City. We witness his shocked reaction to the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center, not far from his home. I help him to get past his fear for himself and his family and he is able to find much-needed relief.
SECTION TWO: FINDING LOVE
SIX. Patti and Brett: When the Honeymoon Ends in Three Months. Re-Igniting the Spark of Passion.
Patti and Brett started having serious marital problems after being married only three months. Patti complained, "He doesn’t talk to me enough. He doesn’t pay enough attention to me. He’s always busy." Brett retorts," I’m tired when I get home from work. I can’t be bombarded with stuff the second I walk through the door." He adds later: "I get annoyed that Patti gets so emotional and upset. Why does she have to cry so much?" Among other interventions, I suggest they utilize my "Top Ten Marital Communication Skills" chart which is a simple guideline to immediately end 90% of marital communication problems. In the pages that follow, we witness how Brett and Patti learn to communicate and rekindle the intimacy in the relationship.
SEVEN. Diana: Love Taps… Reacting Sooner than Later.
Diana and her husband just get back from their honeymoon. They have an argument in the car. Then Diana is shocked when her husband reaches over and hits her in the head! Wisely, Diana is able to be firm and get her reluctant husband to couple counseling right away. In a few pages, we see how she accomplishes this task so "It’ll never happen again."
EIGHT. Mary: She was Always Attracted to the "Bad Boys"
Mary, not unlike many other young women, was always attracted to the "bad boys." How and why does this happen so often? Mary was a bright individual who understood intellectually that being involved with "Bryant" was extremely unhealthy and self-destructive. But she was "emotionally addicted" to the relationship and couldn’t give it up. So we took some time to explore the origin of Mary’s "addiction" and then we discover how she decides to let go of it.
NINE. Carol: Falling in Love With Someone Outside of Marriage. What’s Next?
Once Carol overcame her deep depression, she was ready to talk to me about "Bill," a man whom she had confided in. She felt "connected" to Bill in a way that felt "special" but at the same time, very confusing. We follow Carol as she reviews Bill’s importance in her life, and how life with (her husband) Carl has been sorely lacking. Carol proceeds to analyze each relationship in detail, seeking the meaning of each in terms of fulfilling her unmet wants and needs.
CONCLUSION: TRAUMA TEACHES US WHAT LIFE IS ALL ABOUT
TEN. Life is a Bitch and Then You Die: Growing, Evolving, and Discovering the Real Meaning of Your Whole Life.
This last chapter recaps my family history, going back to my grandparents (whom I never met). My mother was married twice (her first husband died). She had two children by her first husband before getting involved with my father.
The chapter reveals my most personal childhood memories of growing up with a depressed mother and angry father. But it also reveals the major transition that took place in my life when I met my first serious girlfriend Gerry, who helped me learn how to communicate and live a happier life. I have now known Gerry for over 36 years, of which 29 we have been very happily married.
The end of this chapter details my own discovery of my personal spirit guides, my mission and the purpose of my life’s work.