The Traumas and Types of Post Traumatic Stress Endured by Three Iconic American Authors: J.D. Salinger, Truman Capote and Maya Angelou


Monday, March 9, 2020 | 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

NYU Silver School of Social Work 
1 Washington Square North
New York, NY 10003

NYSED Approved for 3 CE contact hours


As a result of so many U.S. soldiers returning home from deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan suffering from symptoms of post traumatic stress, the public has developed a greater awareness of trauma and post-traumatic stress. This has led to greater sympathy for those afflicted, but much confusion and incomplete knowledge still remains in the minds of lay-persons and mental health professionals alike. (Still, tragically, over 7000 veterans commit suicide every year.) Join us to explore a behavioral, emotional and neurological perspective on Trauma, Post Traumatic Stress and Accumulated Stress Injury through the real life experiences of J.D. Salinger, Truman Capote and Maya Angelou.

Three helpful concepts will inform and guide this workshop.

1. Trauma is an injury to the autonomic nervous system—not an event.
2. Post Traumatic Stress is the way in which the body speaks the unspeakable.
3. Healing begins in a place between stimulus and response.

Learning Objectives


  • J.D. Salinger: Through the author’s combat experience throughout the invasion of Normandy and it’s aftermath, workshop participants will learn of the traumas and forms of post traumatic stress unique to the combat veteran: Moral Wound, Survivor’s Guilt, Post Traumatic Stress Injury and Blast Wave Trauma.
  • Truman Capote: Through the author’s experience interviewing two convicted murderers on death row to write and finally finish his masterpiece In Cold Blood, workshop participants will learn about Accumulated Stress Injury brought about by being subjected to high levels of stress over a long period of time and by acting in conflict with one’s core principles (a form of non-combat moral wound).
  • Maya Angelo: Through the author’s experience of sexual assault and resulting selective mutism, workshop participants will learn about the different forms and levels of dissociation brought about by Capital T Traumas and the forms of accumulated stress injury caused by racism in the Jim Crow south.


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Roger Keizerstein, L.C.S.W.

Roger Keizerstein, LCSW is a pediatric clinical social worker, certified trauma professional, writer and public speaker. His stories and essays have appeared in Newsday, The New York Times, Listen Magazine and The Southampton Press.

His film and book reviews and case studies have appeared in The New Social Worker Magazine, The Neuropsychotherapist and The Science of Psychotherapy Magazine. He conducts workshops and lectures on trauma and posttraumatic stress throughout the New York Metropolitan area. He has been in private practice in East Setauket, Long Island for 36 years.