To Hell and Back

I wrote this book for those who have experienced a major trauma and for their family and friends. It combines peoples’ personal stories, extracted from interviews I did with 30 people who had been through a major trauma, with an account of what we know, and don’t know, scientifically about trauma, its effects and how people recover. I have written in such a way that it can be read by those who know nothing about psychology, trauma or psychotherapy. I explain the various psychological terms that are used such as PTSD [Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder], flashback memories and avoidance, as well as expected emotional reactions including anxiety, anger, guilt and shame. I explain what psychotherapy is and when and how it can be helpful.

A major trauma is one that often comes out of the blue with devastating effects. In my book there are interviews from people who were caught up in terrorist attacks such as the 7/7 bombings on the London tube in July 2005, a kidnapping, a shooting and other more common but still devastating traumas such as assaults, road and rail accidents. I also cover the experiences of those in the line of fire, the police, the army and war journalists. In the final chapters I look at what is needed to recover and what therapies are available and how helpful they are.


Reviews on Amazon

“This is first class writing. In gripping individual stories and compassionate, accessible, professional analysis, Marzillier takes us on a journey to understanding what that over used word ‘trauma’ really means.” [Biena]

“…a marvellous book, serious, analytical, warm, open minded and hearted – and, always important, beautifully written, and authentic” [Lady Fancifull]

“This is a five star rating. I bought this book while doing my dissertation on trauma. I was disappointed by trauma books of USA origin, and this is best book from UK I’ve come across. Filled with facts and figures and case studies, John Marzillier was able to explain very clearly of the ‘nuts and bolts’ aspect of the trauma experience. He explained methods involved in supporting the clients, victims, etc. There was nothing in this book I didn’t like.” [Adrian]

“I picked up this book on my way to bed at a friend’s house, and read on into the night without being able to stop. I was drawn in by the combination of human stories with reflections and explanations from the author which were both scientifically sound and deeply empathetic.” [Susan Leather]