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Editor's e-Note
This month's E-News Exclusive is from a frequent contributor to Social Work Today, J. Scott Janssen, MSW, LCSW, a former hospice social worker who admits that he didn’t start out with any particular interest in trauma but came to discover that trauma inevitably reveals itself at the end of life. Read how the threads he follows lead him on an unexpected journey through the exploration of the subtle and not-so-subtle energies embedded in one’s central nervous system, arising from the charge trauma transmits deep into our physical being.

We welcome your comments at Visit our website at, join our Facebook page, and follow us on Twitter.

— Marianne Mallon, editor
e-News Exclusive
Following the Threads — An Unexpected Journey
to Better Understand Trauma

By J. Scott Janssen, MSW, LCSW

Jim fought in World War II but rarely spoke about it. When he did he was vague and quick to change the subject. As he approached the end of his life he started having nightmares about the war and was tormented by painful headaches for which no organic cause could be found and which medications could not relieve. As if overnight, a constellation of issues emerged—social anxiety, increased sensitivity to noise, an enhanced startle response, hypervigilance, panic attacks, and a sense of foreboding about the future.

Starting with the contents of his nightmares, Jim finally began talking about the war. Despite his previous silence, memories of combat had long been stabbing into his mind. The most haunting of these was the day a close friend was killed, the bullet entering the man’s head in exactly the place where Jim’s headaches were occurring. For decades Jim had kept the war’s pain and trauma hidden, but in the twilight of life he could no longer outrun his painful memories.

Full Story »
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Other News
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Tech & Tools
New App Helps Guide Treatment
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