Analysis of the Incest Trauma: Retrieval, Recovery, Renewal

Author(s) : Arnold W. Rachman, Author(s) : Susan A. Klett

Analysis of the Incest Trauma: Retrieval, Recovery, Renewal

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : July 2015
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 368
  • Category :
  • Category 2 :
    Trauma and Violence
  • Catalogue No : 36257
  • ISBN 13 : 9781782202219
  • ISBN 10 : 1782202218
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Childhood sexual abuse within the family of origin and society's institutions, such as the church, education, sports, and the world of celebrity, has been neglected as a significant issue by psychoanalysis and society. The incest trauma needs to be understood as one of the most significant problems of contemporary society.

This book is an attempt to re-establish incest trauma as a significant psychological disorder by tracing the evolutionary trajectory of psychoanalysis from the Seduction Theory to the Oedipal Therapy to the Confusion of Tongues Theory. By examining the theoretical, emotional, interpersonal, and political issues involved in Freud's abandoning the Seduction Hypothesis and replacing it with the Oedipal Complex, we can see how system building became more important than the emotional welfare of children. In a series of chapters the authors demonstrate this neglect of the incest trauma. Several case studies, using a Relational Perspective informed by the Budapest School of Psychoanalysis, illustrate the need to use the Confusion of Tongues theory of trauma originated by Ferenczi, as well his idea of expanding the analytic method to include non-interpretative measures to successfully analyze the incest trauma.

Reviews and Endorsements

Analysis of the Incest Trauma is an elegant, forceful narrative of an awakening. First is the realization within psychoanalytic theory and practice of the actuality – the all-too-frequent actuality – of sexual transgressions within families. Second is the documentation, in compelling jargon-free descriptions, of successive case studies. Arnold W. Rachman and Susan A. Klett poignantly illustrate the enormous courage their patients demonstrate in exposing the triad of victim, abuser, and bystander commonly present in incest trauma families. The reader will emerge with an enhanced sensitivity to the skill and empathic understanding required for helping patients to feel safe in the face of retraumatization – a model beginning with Ferenczi that illuminates an analytic approach today.’
– Joseph D. Lichtenberg, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Psychoanalytic Inquiry and the Psychoanalytic Inquiry book series

‘Arnold Rachman’s work over the past three decades has greatly helped our field recognize the importance of childhood sexual trauma and Ferenczi’s contributions. I highly recommend Rachman and Klett’s new book. Using the original exchanges of letters, the authors have given us a detailed historical account of the struggle between Ferenczi and Freud over the role of childhood sexual trauma and its place in the history of psychoanalysis. Detailed case histories of adults vividly illustrate the consequences of this trauma.’
– Beatrice Beebe, Clinical Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry, New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University

‘The authors have quite deftly managed to do something rare: write a book about complex and painful issues that is tonally perfect. Their approach uniquely pairs the clinical experience of analysis with the deep, non-intrusive empathy required when working with incest victims. With remarkable frankness, compassion, simplicity and intelligence, they allow us to accompany them on the very demanding journeys they undertook with their patients, leading us through not only the gratifying, at times almost miraculous episodes, but also through the rough, distressing, even almost hopeless hours. The humility and courage with which they share their experience commands respect. Truly, a wonderful book.’
– Michael Larivière, Psychoanalyst, Former Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Strasbourg

About the Author(s)

Arnold W. Rachman, PhD, FAGPA, is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Institute of the Postgraduate Psychoanalytic Society, New York; a Clinical Professor of Psychology at Derner Institute, Adelphi University; Associate Professor of Psychiatry, New York University Medical School; on the Faculty of the Trauma and Disaster Studies Program, New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis; on the Board of Directors, Sandor Ferenczi Study Center, New School for Social Research; and author of: Sandor Ferenczi: The Psychotherapist of Tenderness and Passion and Psychotherapy of Difficult Cases: Flexibility & Responsiveness in Clinical Practice.

More titles by Arnold W. Rachman

Susan A. Klett, LCSW-R, BCD, NCPsyA, is Co-Director of the Washington Square Institute (WSI); a Training and Supervising Analyst, and Founder and Director of the Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) Training and Group Program. She is also a Contributing Editor of WSI’s Journal Issues in Psychoanalytic Psychology; a Past President of the Postgraduate Psychoanalytic Society, and Former Chair of the Education Committee of the New York State Society for Clinical Social Work. She has published articles and reviews on trauma, eating and personality disorders and the psychoanalytic process, and has presented both nationally and internationally. She maintains a private practice in Manhattan.

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