1st Edition

Trauma, Shame, and Secret Making
Being a Family Without a Narrative

ISBN 9781315278216
Published September 11, 2017 by Routledge
202 Pages

What are VitalSource eBooks?

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Trauma, Shame, and Secret Making provides a descriptive, qualitative inquiry into a family’s unsuccessful attempts across generations to repress the memories of an early life trauma. Broad in its scope, Trauma, Shame, and Secret Making explores more than one hundred years in the life of a single family, offering students and professionals invaluable insight into the consequences of prolonged narrative suppression in the social life of people. The book models a converging interdisciplinary approach to inquiry across specializations spanning traumatology, family therapy, psychology, psychiatry and social work. The model is consistent with an evolving paradigm of medical, public health and social service practice based on biopsychosocial evaluation of all patients.

Table of Contents

Introduction: One Hundred and Thirty Years in a Family’s Life  Period I (1876 – 1913): When Men of Science Listened to a Woman’s Terror  1: Pierre Janet’s Inquiry into Hysteria  2: The Straw and the Camel’s Back: Rose (1876 – 1942)  3: Disclosures of a Participant Observer  Period II (1914 – 1945): When Men of War Listened to Each Other  4: Abram Kardiner’s Inquiry into the Traumatic Neuroses of War  5: Rose and Her Children: Aileen (1910 – 1983) and Leonard (1914 – 1971)  6: Dreams of a Participant Observer  Period III (1946 – 1979): When We Listened to Post-War Families and Their Children  7: The Inquiries of John Sigal and Salvador Minuchin   Chapter 8: Aileen and her Children – Joseph (1948) and Mary Anne (1951 – 2007)  9: Abulia and the Moment of Truth for the Participant Observer  Period IV (1980 – 1999): When We Named Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)  10: The Inquiries of Judith Herman and Bessel van der Kolk  11: A Fourth Generation - Kat (1987) and Dimitri (1988)  12: Children and the Participant Observer  Period V (2000 and Beyond): When Research Went Where We Had Not Dared Go  13: Michael Meaney, Eric Nestler, Michael Skinner and Epigenetics  Chapter 14: Death by Entanglement  15: The Pitfall of the Participant Observer  Part VI: From Mini-Inquiry to Mega-Investigation  16: The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study  17: If Rose Answered the ACE Questions  18: Conclusions of the Participant Observer  Afterword: Freud and Clergy Sexual Abuse

View More



Francis Joseph Harrington, MDiv, MEd, has spent more than three decades working closely with individuals and families adapting to stress, first as a priest in the Archdiocese of Toronto, and later as a staff psychologist in the department of psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center and as a school psychologist in Maryland.



"Francis Joseph Harrington has written an insightful account of his inward journey to understand the ways in which what is unseen and unspoken within a family system profoundly shapes the lives of its members. What sets this book apart is the author’s candid self-honesty and the way in which he combines research in the social sciences, personal experience, and family history to discover how his life has been influenced in surprising ways. His understanding of the role of ‘abulia’ in trauma is creative as well as intriguing. This is a must read for clinicians and students in the social sciences."

Martin Helldorfer, DMin, MA, MS, author of Healing with Heart: Inspirations for Healthcare Professionals, the American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year 2008 (leadership and management)

"Harrington gives us the courageous telling of his story as participant-observer of three generations of trauma lived out in his own family. This compelling and scholarly narrative brings to life the evolution of trauma literature from its foundations in the early work of physicians, psychologists, anthropologists and philosophers to the present-day work in the areas of epigenetics and neuro-imaging. It is a must read for clinicians and public policy experts seeking deeper understanding of trauma’s role in mental and behavioral illnesses and answers to the epidemic of intergenerational trauma."

Colette Horn, PhD, licensed psychologist, Courtland Psychological Services, Maryland