This work of art by Kopacz & Rael is insightful, provocative, challenging, and inspirational. It is a must read for all who need healing, no matter what the nature of their need. — Chief Roy I. Rochon Wilson, Cowlitz Tribe; Author of Medicine Wheels: Ancient Teaching for Modern Times and The Medicine Wheel Workbook

Best book available for real PTSD healing! PTSD is attacked and defeated by using old wisdom and new mythologies together. Reading this book will give the veterans, their families, and those who treat them a new tool for healing. Old wisdom made new for today’s warriors! — William “Rev. Bill” McDonald Jr.; Vietnam Veteran, Minister, Founder of The Military Writers Society of America; Author of Warrior a Spiritual Odyssey and Alchemy of a Warrior’s Heart

PTSD has likely been around forever and Western medicine is only fair in treating those who suffer from it. Clearly, we don’t fully understand PTSD. Perhaps if we were better able to listen to those with PTSD we might better understand how to help. This important book helped me to not only better listen, but also to better see, feel, and understand those with PTSD and my role in helping them move along their path towards transformation and recovery. I highly recommend this thoughtful book to anyone struggling with PTSD or interested in helping those with PTSD. — Bradford Felker MD; Director Tele-Mental Health Service VA Puget Sound; Professor University of Washington Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science; Captain United States Navy Reserve, Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran

I kept an open mind in reading this book, and it took me into a place, uncharted in traditional Native teachings. Some of the oldest medicine wheels on earth have been dated as being 10,000 years old. To look for healing using the medicine wheel for modern day illness, the authors used a diverse group of visionaries in the book, while maintaining the sacredness of the medicine wheel as the focus in dealing with PTSD and Trauma issues. The incessant aspiration of visionaries such as Beautiful Painted Arrow, and Dr. Kopacz to cultivate this into a healing pathway is to be honored. — Michael Aubrey/Lee Ceremonial Elder American Lake VA Hospital Sweat Lodge; Blackfeet Nation; root tiospeye Thunder Elk Valley-Lakota Nation

This is a particularly wise book! Here a skilled psychiatrist, David Kopacz, contemplates the experience of Joseph Rael, a Native American, and discovers crucial insights about how war veterans may regain inner peace. Joseph reminds us of two fundamental truths: mental, physical, and social health are profoundly interrelated; the passage from one culture to another calls for a ritual process of initiation in which each person works through their suffering in a transformative way. Veterans have interiorized a culture of war; on return they are challenged to undergo an initiation into a culture of peace. Initiation is a tough process of letting go the powerful pull of one culture in order to be open to another. Comrades, families, and specialists can assist, but the process can only be productive to the degree that each veteran owns their suffering in order to re-own their inner goodness and dignity. This is a ‘must read’ book because its insights are applicable to every person’s journey in life. — Gerald A. Arbuckle, PhD; Anthropologist and Author of Humanizing Healthcare Reforms.

It is a book of hope, written from the binocular perspectives of two visionary Medicine men from different cultural heritages. It reads almost like a ballad, with themes and stories, like choruses, repeatedly presented, emphasizing the circular nature of the lived experience of recovery from PTSD and trauma, as the authors creatively describe. As we read, we imaginatively walk the visionary Medicine Wheel and explore the circular Hero’s Journey of transformation and healing. We find new possibilities and gifts as the losses endured in the experience of learning to wage war transform into the boon of learning to wage peace.

In publishing this book, may the authors’ vision of peace, spiritual unity and healing be richly fulfilled, particularly for the men and women veterans who have given, and lost, so much. — Dr. Patte Randal; Licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians (LRCP); Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS), DPhil; co-editor and co-author of Experiencing Psychosis: Personal and Professional Perspectives

Walking the Medicine Wheel: Healing Trauma & PTSD is a fascinating book pulling together two disparate mind sets (psychiatry and Native American healing) into one path pointed directly at healing those with PTSD and other trauma. Being from the psychiatry bent myself, it is very good, in my opinion, to have one’s own brain expanded to appreciate the other healing arts in the world. It is ALSO very good to see that in some ways, these two arts are not so different after all, and can be used in a complementary manner to the great benefit of the patient. For those looking to see the world through a different lens, this is the book for you. — Debra Klamen, MD, MHPE; Senior Associate Dean for Education and Curriculum, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine

This book brings to mind the scripture from Joel 2:28 (ISV): “Then it will come about at a later time that I will pour out my Spirit on every person. Your sons and your daughters will prophesy. Your elderly people will dream dreams and your young people will see visions.”

It is a book of hope, written from the binocular perspectives of two visionary Medicine men from different cultural heritages. It reads almost like a ballad, with themes and stories, like choruses, repeatedly presented, emphasizing the circular nature of the lived experience of recovery from PTSD and trauma, as the authors creatively describe. As we read, we imaginatively walk the visionary Medicine Wheel and explore the circular Hero’s Journey of transformation and healing. We find new possibilities and gifts as the losses endured in the experience of learning to wage war transform into the boon of learning to wage peace.

In publishing this book, may the authors’ vision of peace, spiritual unity and healing be richly fulfilled, particularly for the men and women veterans who have given, and lost, so much.
– Dr. Patte Randal, Licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians (LRCP), Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS), DPhil, co-editor and co-author of Experiencing Psychosis: Personal and Professional Perspectives

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