Book review for Harvey L. Schwartz (2013). The Alchemy of Wolves and Sheep: A Relational Approach to Internalized Perpetration in Complex Trauma Survivors by, Routledge

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Peg LeVine, The University of Melbourne, Australia           


The evocative title of this book, The Alchemy of Wolves and Sheep, hints at a journey to be taken by readers. Intrigued, I entered this book with curious anticipation in hope of finding a text that integrates our working knowledge of complex trauma alongside the phenomenon of dissociation, while advancing a culturally reliable framework. While this text falls short of delivering an integrated cultural perspective, there are gems scattered across chapters that facilitate in the reader that sense of taking a voyage into unchartered territories. Admittedly, I read the book twice as it was not clear until the last chapter that Schwartz navigated trauma literature through Jungian and archetypal theoretical territories. Having grasped this, in my second read, the theses underlying the earlier chapters made more sense. Regardless of orientation, this book topic is essential to our ongoing debate about the relationship between dissociation and trauma within the fields of counselling and psychotherapy.