The focus of this book is on detailed case histories of patients with severe traumas. The author takes us through the successive stages of analysis and gives us a graphic impression of the progress of her diagnostic and therapeutic insights into traumatic processes and their treatment. Her main interest is in the development of the transference/countertransference relationship. Traumatic experience has to be actualised within that relationship if it is to be treated successfully, only in this way can therapeutic change become a feasible proposition. Traumatic micro-processes and trauma-sequel phenomena in transference and countertransference are described and conceptualized. The author demonstrates her point with examples taken from clinical practice: illnesses experienced as traumatic; separation traumas; childhood experiences of violence; adult experiences of violence: war, torture, and displacement that can engender PTSD. This book is a genuinely original contribution to psychoanalytic treatment of traumas.
Part 1: Sick Children - Sick Mothers 1. "No sick children in my house today": death fears in children 2. "That's my mother's trauma, not mine": concretistic fusion, acting-out, symbolisation 3. "We aren't starving yet": silence in withdrawal and communicating in images 4. Splitting and fusion Part 2: Separation Traumas 5. "This is my daughter. Take good care of her!": From objectless anxiety to separation anxiety 6. "Everyone knows my mother. Everyone except me.": Concretistic fusion and denial of object loss 7. "The greatest danger comes from myself": destruction and guilt 8. Acting out and compulsive repetition Part 3: Experiences Of Violence And Abuse In Childhood 9. A helper in search of help: splitting and psychic reality 10. "I want no part of this hell": en route to perversion 11. "I can look after myself": destruction and consolation in one and the same object? 12. Love and hate Part 4: Experiences Of Violence And Abuse In Adulthood: Torture And War 13. Post-traumatic stress disorder 14. Negative countertransference: depletion and resilience Part 5: Conclusion 15. Consequences for psychoanalytic technique 16. Trauma in society and politics: an outlook