Drawing on research from a variety of domains - clinical studies of trauma, developmental psychopathology, interpersonal psychobiology, epidemiology, and social policy - September 11: Trauma and Human Bonds addresses especially the fundamental relationship of human bonds to trauma and underscores the manner in which developments in all these fields are coming together in complementary ways that sustain a key finding: that trauma must be understood in its relational and attachment contexts. The quality of early emotional attachments, differences in attachment styles to family milieus, and the psychological qualities that enable traumatized parents to avoid traumatizing their children are among the topics through which these contexts are explored. From their various disciplinary vantage points, the contributions converge to show how human relationships can either provide an anodyne to trauma or serve as the vehicle of its transmission.
As Susan Coates observes, a major legacy of 9/11 is the realization that "there are no simple truths in the world of trauma studies, no easy-to-remember anodynes or pharmacologic magic bullets or depth-psychological schematizations that will hold true for a majority or even a sizable minority of cases." Yet, in delineating the multiple connections between human relations and trauma, and in elaborating these connections from multiple disciplinary perspectives, the contributors to September 11 have taken a decisive first step to consolidate new knowledge about trauma and to demonstrate how it can assist clinicians who encounter diverse responses to trauma in their day-to-day work. A sobering reminder of shared human vulnerability in the face of devastating events, September 11 is also a heartening reminder of resiliency in the face of overwhelming loss and of the healing potential of human connection.
"The overwhelming trauma of 9/11 left us all in a state of speechlessness, horror, and disbelief. The editors of this volume have collected a group of essays on this experience that allow us to begin to comprehend the meaning and impact of that dark day in American history. Moreover, these contributions greatly advance our knowledge of human reactions to trauma and thus make this book an outstanding contribution to the subspeciality of traumatology as well as to the entire mental health field. I highly recommend the book both to clinicians and to students in the mental health professions."
- Glen O. Gabbard, Ph.D., Brown Foundation Chair of Psychoanalysis
"The September 11 terrorist attacks led to an unprecedented community response to alleviate the suffering they created. In this extraordinary book, the authors vividly describe both the horror and the selfless actions that it spurred from a multiplicity of perspectives, ranging from in-the-moment gestures of kindness, to exquisitely thoughtful therapeutic encounters, to monumental institutional undertakings to learn how to best help the survivors. The authors make a compelling case for the importance of human bonds in the recovery from trauma, both at the personal and the national levels. This wise and timely book is indispensible reading for anybody affected by a traumatic event, which is now all of us."
- Alicia F. Lieberman, Ph.D., Professor of Medical Psychology, University of California
"The 9/11 terrorist attack traumatized the nation, and the nation's trauma experts ably responded. This important new book assembles experts froma variety of disciplines -- psychoanalytic clinicians, developmental psychologists, epidemiologists, sociologists, and neurobiologists -- to provide a comprehensive survey of what we knew, what we have recently learned, and what new questions we can now ask about trauma victims and their treatment. Their contributions range from poignant clinical accounts to epidemiological surveys to suggestions about how aspects of psychological and biological development influence the vulnerability of those who are exposed to trauma. The volume as a whole reminds us that one of the possible sequelae of trauma is growth -- growth in knowledge, growth in understanding, and growth in our capacity to cope with future trauma."
- Robert Michels, M.D., Walsh McDermott University Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry
Preface - Robert Alan Glick
1: Introduction: Trauma and Human Bonds - Susan W. Coates
2: A Letter from Brooklyn: September 11, 2001 - Hern n Poza III
3: Brief Interventions with Traumatized Children and Families After September 11 - Susan W. Coates, Daniel S. Schechter, and Elsa First
4: Mental Health of New York City Public School Children After 9/11: An Epidemiologic Investigation - Christina W. Hoven, Donald J. Mandell, and Cristiane S. Duarte
5: Clinical Management of Subsyndromal Psychological Sequelae of the 9/11 Terror Attacks - Lawrence Amsel and Randall D. Marshall
6: Evolution of the Interpersonal Interpretive Function: Clues for Effective Preventive Intervention in Early Childhood - Peter Fonagy and Mary Target
7: Intergenerational Communication of Maternal Violent Trauma: Understanding the Interplay of Reflexive Functioning and Posttraumatic Psychopathology - Daniel S. Schechter
8: Relational Mourning in a Mother and Her Three-Year-Old After September 11 - Adrienne Harris
9: Some Clinical Observations After September 11: Awakening the Past? - Ellen Rees
10: The Emerging Neurobiology of Attachment and Separation: How Parents Shape Their Infant's Brain and Behavior - Myron A. Hofer
11: Neurobiological Effects of Childhood Stress and Trauma - Martin H. Teicher, Ann Polcari, Susan L. Andersen, Carl M. Anderson, and Carryl Navalta
12: An Agenda for Public Mental Health in a Time of Terror - Daniel B. Herman, Barbara Pape Aaron, and Ezra S. Susser
13: Lessons for High-Risk Populations from Attachment Research and September 11: Helping Children in Foster Care - Francine Cournos
The Relational Perspectives Book Series (RPBS) publishes books that grow out of or contribute to the relational tradition in contemporary psychoanalysis. The term relational psychoanalysis was first used by Greenberg and Mitchell (1983) to bridge the traditions of interpersonal relations, as developed within interpersonal psychoanalysis and object relations, as developed within contemporary British theory. But, under the seminal work of the late Stephen Mitchell, the term relational psychoanalysis grew and began to accrue to itself many other influences and developments. Various tributaries—interpersonal psychoanalysis, object relations theory, self psychology, empirical infancy research, and elements of contemporary Freudian and Kleinian thought—flow into this tradition, which understands relational configurations between self and others, both real and fantasied, as the primary subject of psychoanalytic investigation.
We refer to the relational tradition, rather than to a relational school, to highlight that we are identifying a trend, a tendency within contemporary psychoanalysis, not a more formally organized or coherent school or system of beliefs. Our use of the term relational signifies a dimension of theory and practice that has become salient across the wide spectrum of contemporary psychoanalysis. Now under the editorial supervision of Lewis Aron and Adrienne Harris with the assistance of Associate Editors Steven Kuchuck and Eyal Rozmarin, the Relational Perspectives Book Series originated in 1990 under the editorial eye of the late Stephen A. Mitchell. Mitchell was the most prolific and influential of the originators of the relational tradition. He was committed to dialogue among psychoanalysts and he abhorred the authoritarianism that dictated adherence to a rigid set of beliefs or technical restrictions. He championed open discussion, comparative and integrative approaches, and he promoted new voices across the generations.
Included in the Relational Perspectives Book Series are authors and works that come from within the relational tradition, extend and develop the tradition, as well as works that critique relational approaches or compare and contrast it with alternative points of view. The series includes our most distinguished senior psychoanalysts along with younger contributors who bring fresh vision.