Asklepios was a Greek god of healing. Like Christ, he was said to have walked the earth performing miracle cures. His medicine was practiced by priests known as therapeutes (the first therapists) who interperted patients’ dreams in which the god gave advice. The results as documented in literature and in thousands of ancient testimonies, reveal the root of modern medical science and psychotherapy. Tick describes this figure and his followers of today. A very interesting approach by a psychotherapist to the methods of healing of the Ancient Greeks.
The cover of this book gives us immediate confrontation with tragedy face to face: A 19 year old soldiers’ face tired, dusty, eyes a bit empty, sad, resigned, indicating thoughts of flat expectation and little hope. Photographed by another young man age 22, ‘who did not live to see his pictures in print’, and was killed in a plane crash, this is the start of the book: an In Memoriam to the latter and a Recognition of the first.
The author Edward Tick is a U.S. psychotherapist with years of experience in working with veterans who suffer from PTSD or PTSS (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or Syndrome), the specific illness of veterans, which was previously known as ‘combat fatigue’, ‘shell shock'(WW1) or else ‘Soldiers’ heart’. Ed was a guest and principal presenter at the IDMA gathering in the mountains near Graz in Austria this summer, titled: ‘War and Human Memory – on soul loss and lost souls’.
Combat veterans from Vietnam as well as noncombatants and resisters have been and still are his patients, but as Ed describes it, not just the veterans keep coming: war makes numerous victims amongst those who survive too. First he saw the Vietnam survivors – young men sent by the Government only to return home with more than physical wounds; in addition they had to encounter criticism and vilification. These were followed by survivors of the WW2 Holocaust, the Korean War and the Gulf Wars well as wars in Lebanon, Panama, El Salvador and Ireland. Most recently it has been veterans from Iraq, Bosnian refugees and terminally ill veterans and their families who have also turned to Tick for help.