Traumatic Experiences of Normal Development : An Intersubjective, Object Relations Listening Perspective on Self, Attachment, Trauma, and Reality book cover
1st Edition

Traumatic Experiences of Normal Development
An Intersubjective, Object Relations Listening Perspective on Self, Attachment, Trauma, and Reality

ISBN 9780367429188
Published March 1, 2020 by Routledge
210 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Traditionally, trauma has been defined as negatively impacting external events, with resulting damage. This book puts forth an entirely different thesis: trauma is universal, occurring under even the best of circumstances and unavoidably sculpting the very building blocks of character structure.

In Traumatic Experiences of Normal Development, Dr. Carl Shubs depathologizes the experience of trauma by presenting a listening perspective which helps recognize the presence and effects of traumatic experiences of normal development (TEND) by using a reconstruction of object relations theory. This outlook redefines trauma as the breach in intrapsychic organization of Self, Affect, and Other (SAO), the three components of object relations units, which combine to form intricate and changeable constellations that are no less than the total experience of living in any given moment. Bridging the gap between the trauma and analytic communities, as well as integrating intrapsychic and relational frameworks, the SAO/ TEND perspective provides a trauma-based band of attunement for attending to all relational encounters including those occurring in therapy.

Though targeted to mental health professionals, this book will help enable therapists and sophisticated lay readers alike to recognize the impact of relational encounters, providing new tools to understand the traumas we have experienced and to minimize the hold they have on us.

Table of Contents

Part I: CHARACTER STRUCTURE Chapter 1. Listening Perspectives and Object Relations Foundations  Chapter 2. Object Relations Reconsidered  Part II: TRAUMA RE-EXAMINED AND REDEFINED  Chapter 3. The Traumatic Moment  Chapter 4. Splitting, Part 1  Chapter 5. Predator Other  Chapter 6. Splitting, Part 2 Chapter 7. Trauma and Intrapsychic Organization Revisited  Part III: SELF AND ATTACHMENT Chapter 8. Object Relations  Part IV. DENIAL AND NOT KNOWING REVISITED  Chapter 9. Disavowals  Chapter 10. SAO/TEND Retrospective

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Carl H. Shubs, Ph.D., is a psychologist in private practice in Beverly Hills, California, integrating psychoanalytic and somatic psychotherapy. For over 30 years, he has helped people who are victims of violent crimes and other traumatic experiences. In doing so, he also developed specialties in anxiety, depression, addictions (substances and behaviors), LGBT issues, and infidelities.

Featured Author Profiles



psychologist, Carl H. Shubs, Ph.D.
Beverly Hills, CA, United States

Learn more about CARL H SHUBS »


"In this volume, Traumatic Experiences of Normal Development, Dr. Shubs has produced an encyclopedic work on the title subject. He brings to the task his understanding that comes from his clinical experience of working for decades with victims of violent crimes. In addition, he provides, in their own words, the personal theories and interpretations of the leading authorities in the field.

His research comes from a personal, theoretical and experiential base. This is no more evidenced than in a poem he wrote, "To Be in a Closet," which he inserts at the beginning of his work, where he says, "The final version [of the poem] grew out of my self-awareness regarding my own array of closets and my knowing that each of us has them."

This book is an invaluable resource for anyone working with the impact of traumatic experience on their clients or themselves."

Robert Hilton, Ph.D., co-founder of the Southern California Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis and Trainer Emeritus of the International Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis.


"Carl Shubs has done it again! In his prior writings on transference and countertransference with trauma victims, using somatic therapies as well as psychoanalytic psychotherapy, Shubs has demonstrated a remarkable capacity to stand in many theoretical and clinical worlds at once. His unique gift is to understand and be able to effectively integrate in highly original ways numerous schools of psychoanalytic thinking as well as neuropsychological studies, infant research, and somatic psychotherapy practices.

In this tour de force through the complex world of developmental, neuropsychological, and trauma studies, Shubs makes clear that all of the features described in pathological trauma situations are also to one degree or another a part of normal development."

Lawrence E. Hedges, Ph.D., Psy.D., ABPP, Listening Perspectives Study Center, Founder and Director