Expert strategies and insights for succesfully bringing our troops and veterans restoration in mind, heart, and spirit
War touches us all—leaving visible and invisible wounds on the warriors who fight, disrupting their families and communities, and leaving lasting imprints on our national psyche. In spite of billions spent on psychological care and reintegration programs, we face an epidemic of combat-related conditions such as PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). With Warrior’s Return, Dr. Edward Tick presents a powerful case for changing the way we welcome our veterans back from service—a vision and a path for transforming the wounds of war into sources of wisdom, honor, and growth.
After more than 35 years of working with veterans, Dr. Tick has learned that our conventional ways of addressing the trauma and woundings of war fall far short, usually focusing only on symptoms and temporary relief. Drawing on lessons from cross-cultural wisdom, mythical archetypes, and proven methods from psychology, he offers this book as a valuable resource to help families, caregivers, and returning veterans understand and cope with the life-changing effects of combat, including:
- Re-examining PTSD—why we must expand our understanding of the full psychological and spiritual impact of war’s invisible wounds
- Archetype of the warrior—service in combat as a “journey to the underworld,” and why the return home is the most crucial stage
- The warrior’s path—timeless wisdom from tradition, classical philosophy, great leaders, and religious and mythological sources
- How cultures around the world have welcomed home their returning warriors for centuries—and what we can learn from them
- The warrior’s initiation—how the old self dies on the battlefield and a new, more mature self evolves in its place
- Restoration—methods for overcoming disillusionment and soul-fatigue to restore the warrior’s sense of purpose, motivation, and connection
- Coming home—specific steps for reintegrating our warriors back into our families and communities
- Honor—how a warrior can retain personal integrity and self-respect even when they have participated in a war they don’t believe in
- Forgiveness, reconciliation, and atonement—ways for warriors to close the circle and begin healing what was destroyed
“This is not a hopeless situation,” states Dr. Tick. “Lifelong suffering after war is not inevitable if we understand war’s impact on the heart and soul, both for ourselves and our culture.” For veterans and those who wish to support them, Warrior’s Return offers step-by-step guidance for initiating our transformed warriors into valued members of our community—with an essential map for the hero’s journey home.
"The warrior archetype has existed at least as long as recorded history. Edward Tick, author of the cutting-edge book, War and the Soul, draws on classic texts from the ancient world (including the Old Testament) to demonstrate the prevalence of the archetype and the moral codes that have developed around it. Jung suggested that war is society’s shadow self expressing unconscious destructive tendencies. If that is the case, then how societies treat their warriors is an indication of the health or dis-ease of those societies. Tick makes the case that our neglect of modern warriors is eroding the very fiber of America. He takes a close look at difficult but necessary ideas like rehumanization, witnessing in community, and society’s need to “buy back” its wounded warriors. The research into trauma that followed the Vietnam War was vital to the successful treatment of abuse survivors. Tick is now highlighting the issue of psycho-spiritual healing which will allow trauma survivors, not just soldiers, to truly return home in every sense of the phrase."
—Anna Jedrziewski, Retailing Insight
“Dr. Tick proposes a groundbreaking new approach to combat-trauma treatment that transcends mere assimilation back into functional civilian status. He presents a truly holistic understanding of PTSD and explains why society must acknowledge and embrace warriors’ wounds as our own. A must-read for veterans, their families, counselors, and all healers.”
—Larry Malerba, DO, author of Green Medicine: Challenging the Assumptions of Conventional Health Care
“Dr. Tick’s approach to healing eclipses today’s world of symptom management. Warrior’s Return goes beyond living on the ‘life raft’ and addresses the deeper level of healing that firmly plants veterans back into the fertile ground of life, living, and making a difference."
—Robert Csandl, MHS, Vietnam veteran and executive director of Treatment Trends, Inc./Veterans Sanctuary
“So much attention is given to the symptoms of returning soldiers with little for the wounding of their hearts. Dr. Ed Tick, author of War and the Soul and director of Soldier’s Heart, has worked for more than three decades to develop and apply a model for not just treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but for actually healing the condition at the origin of the wound. In his first book he mapped out the inner world of the combat survivor with a portrait of the soul at war and now, with his newest writing, Warrior’s Return, he provides a detailed holistic, cultural, and spiritual understanding of PTSD and the way home through the restoration of the spiritual warrior. As a combat veteran myself, Dr. Tick’s work has been invaluable in my return home and for a new life after war. Modern diagnostic procedures have not offered much for a problem that historically has existed through many millennia. However, now veterans from all wars, past and present, have the information needed with this amazing approach.”
—John Wesley Fisher, Vietnam veteran, Doctor of Chiropractic, and author of Angels in Vietnam, Not Welcome Home, and The War After the War