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Diagnosis and Treatment of Survivor Guilt

The Bad Penny Syndrome
  • Tom Williams
Part of the The Springer Series on Stress and Coping book series (SSSO)

Abstract

After seeing over 2,000 trauma victims, it appears to me that the ones who do not improve in treatment are those who have not resolved their survivor guilt. At the Post-Trauma Treatment Center, we call this the “bad penny syndrome,” because these clients tend to return to treatment periodically and do not seem to resolve their traumatic experiences. The DSM-III omits survivor guilt as a diagnostic criterion because some believe that it does not fit with psychically reliving behavioral symptoms or autonomic responses, but many clinicians working with trauma groups report that some form of survivor guilt is indeed a major concern for both diagnosis and treatment of trauma survivors.

Keywords

Rape Victim Trauma Victim Vietnam Veteran Elephant Grass Trauma Survivor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References

  1. Bard, M., & Sangrey, D. (1986). The crime victim’s book. New York: Brunner/Mazel.Google Scholar
  2. Capps, W. (1982). The unfinished war: Vietnam and the American conscience. Boston: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
  3. Cobb, S., & Lindemann, E. (1947). Neuropsychiatric observations. Annals of Surgery, 177, 814–824.Google Scholar
  4. Horowitz, M. J. (1986). Stress response syndromes (2nd ed.). New York: Jason Aronson.Google Scholar
  5. Wilson, J. P. (1983). Vietnam veteran on trial: Relationship of post traumatic stress disorder to criminal behavior. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 3, 69–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tom Williams
    • 1
  1. 1.Post-Trauma Treatment CenterAuroraUSA

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