Trauma, Torture and Dissociation: A Psychoanalytic View

Author(s) : Aida Alayarian

Trauma, Torture and Dissociation: A Psychoanalytic View

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : 2011
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 352
  • Category :
    Trauma and Violence
  • Category 2 :
  • Catalogue No : 29712
  • ISBN 13 : 9781855758766
  • ISBN 10 : 1855758768
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Theoretical material is presented in close conjunction with clinical data in the form of vignettes and case studies to illustrate the key points outlined in this book, which focuses on the multidimensional approach to the understanding of childhood trauma. It examines the contributions of psychoanalysis, emphasising the act of 'dissociation' (healthy and unhealthy). Specific attention is given to the internalisation of the m/other/object as the 'listening other', and the dissociated part/s that may results in an over idealised yet feared object. The final discussion focuses on how patients in therapy become able to transform fears into 'psychic space' and to break away from vulnerability, by developing a better 'sense of self', as the result of having the therapist as the 'listening other'.

Reviews and Endorsements

'Dr Alayarian's work on dissociation is an important contribution to research rooted in the psychoanalytic tradition. Like Winnicott (1986) who discussed the splitting of the self as an achievement of personal growth in some circumstances, she sees healthy dissociation as a skill of survival for the traumatized. The research is the fruition of therapy with children and adults over decades and is valuable for those working with the increasing scope of trauma both in the NHS and private practice.'
- Lennox K. Thomas, Consultant Psychotherapist, British Association of Psychotherapists, Fellow UKCP

'While psychoanalytical approaches have largely not been seen as the most helpful when dealing with chronic PTSD and dissociation, Alayarian provides a full theoretical review of analytic thinking on trauma that will enrich practitioners from all approaches, as well as looking into the specific features that might identify those who would respond to such treatment or find alternative methods for those who do not.'
- Valerie Sinason, from the Preface

About the Author(s)

Aida Alayarian is a consultant clinical psychologist, child psychotherapist since 1986, and adult psychoanalytic psychotherapist since 1998. She has a Masters in Medical Anthropology and Intercultural Psychotherapy, with a background in Medicine. She is the founder and currently Clinical Director of the Refugee Therapy Centre.

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