What happens when psychologically healthy people are victimized by crises like rape, major surgery, death or suicide, divorce, even prolonged unemployment? At the Center for Preventive Psychiatry, Kliman and others help families cope with these often wrenching situations. She demonstrates that the families of victims are indirect victims who also need support and the opportunity to gripe, express what-if feelings, and eventually put the matter in perspective. In homes where communication has been good, counseling fits in most easily but even those with few lines open can learn to handle what seems insurmountable. There are casualties too. Kliman's case-book examples indicate the vast range of problems people bring for short-term treatment: an incestuous encounter where the daughter was the seducer; a single mother whose social life was challenged by her son; a teenager scarred after a car fire; a child blind from encephalitis; a family chilled by the oldest son's suicide. Unlike the streamlined self-help books or pop-tart psychology spiels, this relates the situations concisely without blurring the complexity of human emotions or denying the hurdles that block the best efforts at intervention. And Kliman refers to, but does not dwell on, the ""hidden victims,"" the counselors who sign on for this steady diet of strangers' catastrophes, sometimes with serious personal consequences. Little jargon, much impact.