1st Edition

Torture Survivors in Analytic Therapy Jung, Politics, Culture

By Monica Luci Copyright 2022
    98 Pages
    by Routledge

    98 Pages
    by Routledge

    This important new book introduces and discusses the underpinning of psychodynamic psychotherapy for torture survivors in a clinical setting and incorporates concepts from analytical psychology and other theoretical bases in order to provide readers with a deeper understanding of this complex trauma.

    Using the concepts of analytical psychology, relational psychoanalysis, and neuroscience, and relying on the theoretical basis of her book Torture, Psychoanalysis and Human Rights (Routledge, 2017), Luci focuses on three key clinical cases and illustrates the therapeutic paths that the therapeutic dyad explore and experiences in order to get out of the patient’s inner prison created or aggravated by the experience of torture. The book discusses the role of the therapist when working with torture survivors, the requirement of a slow and cautious approach when dealing with such trauma, and the importance of a careful and respectful consideration of issues of identity, politics, and culture.

    Featuring a useful guide, this book will be of great interest to mental health professionals, psychotherapists and students practicing in services that provide assistance to torture and war trauma survivors.

    Introduction  1. The role of the body in the therapy of torture survivors  2. Mixed violations: slavery and torture  3. Gender-based violence and torture: the personal is political  4. Principles for the psychotherapy of torture survivors  Conclusion


    Monica Luci, PhD, clinical psychologist and Jungian and relational psychoanalyst, works in private practice in Rome and collaborates with NGOs, universities, and institutions in the field of research, psychosocial interventions, and psychotherapy for vulnerable migrants, especially survivors of torture, trafficked women, unaccompanied minors and other victims of human rights violations. She is the author of publications on the themes of trauma, displacement, violence, dissociation, sexuality, gender, and human rights.

    'This is a remarkable book; not only does Dr. Luci give us an account of her sensitive, painstaking, caring and courageous work with three people who suffered complex trauma related to appalling torture (one account focuses on the body, one on the dynamics of the master-slave relationship and the third on gender-based violence and torture), but her work also takes us beyond these particular individuals and opens up the deepest questions concerning the construction of the self. The book (brings together her thinking over a number of years and) presents us with her creative development of Jungian and relational psychoanalytic theorizing, describing the shift between paradoxical, multiple self states and monolithic self states, as well as the role of psychic skin, operating on somatic, psychic and social levels in the construction of the self. She also offers an invaluable chapter on clinical practice with torture survivors, which will help practitioners engage with the dissociated parts of their patients that profoundly affect the therapist. This is a heartfelt book by which I was moved and challenged to think further and more deeply. I cannot recommend it highly enough.' - Marcus West, Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Analytical Psychology

    'In this remarkable and all too rare clinical book on torture survivors, Luci introduces the reader to groundbreaking psychoanalytic therapy with three survivors. Her descriptions and commentary about the treatments are in graphic and chilling detail writing about torture, the body, slavery, and gender-based violence. Her theoretical underpinnings of the treatments are compelling, contemporary, and holistic. Using an integration of relational and Jungian principles, she brilliantly captures the dynamics of complex trauma and writes with measured authority and moving humanity. Luci's study is a significant contribution to the field of trauma studies and extends our psychoanalytic insights.' - Spyros D. Orfanos, PhD, ABPP, Director, New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy & Psychoanalysis

    'Monica Luci makes an essential contribution to the clinical literature on working with survivors of gross human rights abuses. Through three compelling case histories, she demonstrates not only a keen understanding of the tortured subject, but the difficulty of deeply engaging such profoundly damaged human beings in treatment when experiences for which there are no words inscribe themselves on the body. Clinically rich and instructive data are lucid explications of Jungian and Relational psychodynamics.' - Ghislaine Boulanger, Ph.D., New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis