Paul Valent, MBBS, DPM, FRANZCP
Paul was a psychiatrist and psychotherapist for 35 years, and liaison psychiatrist in emergency departments of major hospitals for 20 years.
Paul co-founded and is past president of the Australasian Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and of the Child Survivors of the Holocaust group in Melbourne, Australia. Paul is now devoting himself to writing.
Trauma is the nemesis of our lives. Sometimes it swamps us. At other times it haunts us. It is the fracture that stops us from running as we would wish.
Paul Valent (From the forward of The Encyclopedia of Trauma)
What Led to the Specialization of Trauma?
Paul shares his memorable and formative experience of attending to the individuals affected and impacted by the 1980 Ash Wednesday bushfires.
A Crucial Early Mistake
Paul tells the story of the time he went to aid those who had been traumatized by the bushfires but neglected to take into consideration the philosophy of the other psychiatrists and how that impacted the treatment he was hoping to deliver.
“Because it helps patients and I was able to get to their problems much faster than ever before.”
- Have an open mind, in other words, recognize that trauma actually exists.
- Develop the strength to not be overwhelmed by your client’s experience.
- Be careful not to be overwhelmed by fashionable interventions which seem to smack of simple solutions.
- Be gentle, modest and compassionate, because you’re dealing with a kind of sacredness in what has impacted people’s lives.
Paul’s go-to books
- Men Under Stress, Grinker and Spiegel
- The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil, Philip Zimbardo
- Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of ‘brainwashing’ in China, Robert Jay Lifton
- In Two Minds: Tales of a Psychotherapist, Paul Valent
- From Survival to Fulfillment: A Framework for the Life-Trauma Dialectic (Series in Trauma and Loss), Paul Valent