A tribute to JKP author Joe Tucci – pioneer of trauma-transformative practice

By Steve Jones, Publishing Director, Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Image of Joe Tucci, CEO of The Australian Childhood Foundation and author who passed away 13th March 2024.

I first made contact with Joe Tucci in 2015, when JKP author Kim S. Golding told me about a fantastic organization called The Australian Childhood Foundation (ACF), headed by Joe Tucci as CEO. The ACF had been organizing conferences which brought together leading thinkers in the field of trauma from around the world.

After making contact with Joe, we realised that there was an opportunity to capture this valuable material in print form – to help share this precious knowledge among those working with traumatized children and young people around the world. We started to develop ideas for an edited book which would provide an overview of the leading approaches and practice models, and would also attempt to tease out common strands and principles.

This was no mean feat to pull together, but Joe Tucci, with his colleague Janise Mitchell and Ed Tronick joining his as co-editors, did an impeccable job. Joe was also fantastic to work with – conscientious, thoughtful and dedicated – the dedication to relationships and connection that guided his professional life were also clear in how we worked with others.

The resulting book published as The Handbook of Therapeutic Care for Children in 2019. I know Joe was thrilled with the response from readers, from frontline workers inspired by the ideas through to trauma experts including Bessel van der Kolk and Louis Cozolino.

As soon as that book published, Joe was keen to explore ideas for a follow up. After some discussion, he formulated his ideas for a book which would be even more ambitious – one that really moves the dial on trauma-informed practice and captures the highly innovative and transformative ways it is being used across different settings and sectors – for individual and community work.

This resulted in The Handbook of Trauma-Transformative Practice recently published in February 2024 – just shortly before his sad passing on 13 March.

Joe Tucci created a substantial legacy through his achievements – you can read more about there here – of which the impact of his publications form only one part. But they do stand as an effective testament to Joe’s work, and that of others around the world who are dedicated to improving the lives of children.

Jessica Kingsley Publishers are proud to have published two books with Joe edited alongside Janice Mitchell and we offer our heartfelt sympathies to Joe’s colleagues at ACF, his family and friends, and everyone who knew him.

Dr Joe Tucci and distinguished colleagues present a dazzling compendium of evidence-based knowledge about the multifaceted manifestations of trauma, along with exciting and proven approaches to its treatment”

Gabor Maté MD, Author, The Myth of Normal: Trauma: Illness and Healing in a Toxic Culture“

This rich multidisciplinary book provides us with a deep dive into a trauma transformation paradigm rooted in a thorough understanding of developmental neuroscience and the synthesis of a range of effective interventions of trauma informed practices.

Bessel van der Kolk MD, Professor of Psychiatry BUSM President, Trauma Research Foundation

“Imagine being provided a scientifically solid set of deep dives into the fabric of trauma and being offered actionable steps we can take to help transform human suffering into ways we can connect and flourish. In this magnificent collection of leading world authorities offering concise and insightful overviews of their life’s work, our able editors have curated a comprehensive view of how overwhelming adversity impacts development, shapes our neural and relational connections, and leaves us with assaults on trust, hope, and possibility. By summarizing and contrasting each of the chapters’ detailed immersions, we, the fortunate recipients of this hard earned wisdom, are provided a practical guide to re-imagining “trauma-informed” approaches and cultivating a focused, in-depth offering of “trauma-transformation” that can alleviate individual distress and offer the potential to put an end to the collective, intergenerational transmission of despair in our lives. A deep bow of gratitude to Joe, Janise, Steve and Ed, for this life affirming work of heart.

Dan Siegel, Executive Director, Mindsight Institute; Clinical Professor, UCLA School of Medicine

It’s a treasure to discover a book that provides a paradigm shift in thinking, informed by knowledge, wisdom, and transgenerational lived experience. In this volume, trauma-informed is transformed into a practice that all services and organisations need to take notice of.

Kim S Golding, CBE, Clinical Psychologist, DDP trainer and author

The editors of this volume bring together a remarkable cadre of international experts to challenge us all to look at the full complexity of trauma, to go beyond “trauma-informed” individual care and embrace a comprehensive, holistic, integrative path capable of truly transforming the legacy of trauma. Brilliant!

Dr. Pat Ogden, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Founder

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