Extreme Traumatization: Conceptualization and Treatment from the Perspective of Object-Relations and Modern Research
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OriginalversjonVarvin S: Extreme Traumatization: Conceptualization and Treatment from the Perspective of Object-Relations and Modern Research. In: Huppertz. Approaches to Psychic Trauma. Theory and Practice, 2019. Rowman & Littlefield International p. 307-321
In the last century civilians increasingly became targets in wars, totalitarian regimes and internal wars. This trend continues into this century. The basic unity in all societies, the family in its different forms, is thus increasingly under attack in these war zones, with serious consequences for the mental health and the development of its members. Responses to Traumatization The accepted use of trauma concepts is highly problematic. The word “trauma” implies something static and reified, like a “thing” in the mind, and this usage tends to divert attention towards the dynamic and reorganizing processes in the traumatized person’s mind, body and relations to others that happens after being exposed to atrocities. These are processes that depend on the level of personality organization, on past traumatizing experiences, on the circumstances during atrocities and, most importantly, on the context that meets the survivor afterwards. It is the person’s responses to atrocity as well as the responses of others and of societies as a whole that to a large degree determine the fate of the traumatized person and her group. Research has convincingly confirmed the importance of the response to the traumatized afterwards, beginning with Hans Keilson’s seminal work on Jewish children survivors after the second world war and also later researches (Gagnon and Stewart 2013; Keilson and Sarpathie 1979; Simich and Andermann 2014; Ungar 2012). Psychoanalysis is one such societal response, both in its practical therapeutic form and as a comprehensive theory for understanding the mind’s relation to the body and the general context of the trauma.