Loss of the Assumptive World: A Theory of Traumatic Loss, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Loss of the Assumptive World

A Theory of Traumatic Loss, 1st Edition

Edited by Jeffrey Kauffman


260 pages | 1 Color Illus.

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The assumptive world concept is a psychological principle of the conservation of human reality or "culture" - it is a lens for seeing the psychological disturbances that occur in times of change. In this collection, the authors examine the assumptive world from diverse theoretical perspectives, providing the reader with an array of different viewpoints illuminating the concept and its clinical usefulness.


"The chapters in this collection build on theories of the psychology of trauma and psychosocial chnage to discuss psychological disturbance that occurs after a traumatic loss."

"The assumptive world is our guide as we organize ourselves and our understanding of the world around us. Trauma attacks those assumptions. This book will help us bridge trauma by using the assumptive world even when it is under attack by the trauma that attacks us." -- The World Pastoral Care Center, Resources Hotline, September 2002

"A perfect text for an anxious time…an excellent addition to the literature on trauma. It will be helpful in understanding our clients as well as our responses to world events." -- Clinical Social Work Journal

"The richness of this book for the reader is in seeing the same concept from a number of points of view." -- Bereavement Care

Table of Contents

Note from the Editor

Series Editor's Foreword

Foreword, Ronnie Janoff-Bulman


Introduction, Jeffrey Kauffman

Constructing Meaning in a World Broken by the Traumatic Loss of the Assumptive World: Meaning, Self, and Transcendence

1. Crisis of Meaning in Trauma and Loss, Irene Smith Landsman

2. The Meaning of Your Absence: Traumatic Loss and Narrative Reconstruction Robert A. Neimeyer, Luis Botella, Olga Herrero, Meritxell Pacheco, Sara Figueras and Luis Alberto Werner-Wildner

3. How Could God? Loss and the Spiritual Assumptive World, Kenneth Doka

4. Questionable Assumptions About Assumptive Worlds, Tom Attig

Relationships With Self and Others

5. The Harm of Trauma: Pathological Fear, Shattered Assumptions, or Betrayal? Anne P. DePrince and Jennifer J. Freyd

6. The Assumptive World in the Context of Transference Relationships: A Contribution to Grief Theory, Daniel Liechty

7. A Self-Psychological Study of Experiences of Near Loss of Life One's Own Life or the Dying or Death of a Close Relative: The Shattered-Fantasy Model of Traumatic Loss, Richard B. Ulman and Maria T. Miliora

Psychological Processes

8. Treatment of Violated Assumptive Worlds with EMDR, Roger M. Solomon

9. Coping with Challenges to Assumpitive Worlds, Charles A. Corr10. Beyond the Beveled Mirror: Mourning and Recovery from Childhood Maltreatment, Sandra L. Bloom

11. The "Curse" of Too Good a Childhood, Therese A. Rando

12. The Assumptive World of Children, Linda Goldman

Traumatic Loss and What Cannot Be Said

13. Safety and the Assumptive World: A Theory of Traumatic Loss, Jeffrey Kauffman

14. What Cannot Be Remembered or Forgotten, Henry Krystal

15. Parting Words: Trauma, Silence and Survival, Cathy Caruth

Postscript by Colin Murray Parkes


About the Editor

Jeffrey Kauffman is a psychotherapist in private practice in Philadelphia and an instructor at the Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research. He specializes in the treatment of grief and trauma.

About the Series

Series in Trauma and Loss

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychotherapy / Counseling
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychotherapy / General