This monograph explores questions about the relational and interpersonal aspects of the links between attachment and trauma as they emerge in clinical practice, together with ways in which trauma is experienced emotionally and physically in the body and how this might be expressed interpersonally in the therapeutic encounter. This is discussed through personal and clinical narratives of leading researchers, clinicians, and writers.
The spectrum of trauma the contributors seek to elucidate ranges from cumulative relational trauma in a family setting, to sexual and physical abuse, to war and natural disasters. Through the inclusion of individual narratives of trauma, we are told stories that lead us into the process of survival and remind us of human tenacity and dignity in the face of overwhelming trauma. Contributors discuss survival strategies, attempts to soothe and regulate our terror states, ranging from dissociation to repression and substance abuse. Themes of secrecy, disavowal, and repetition are encountered as aspects of the complex ways in which we are able to adapt and evolve in response to adversity. The impact of trauma on our emotional and bodily states, as well as how it ruptures whole communities, are part of our conversation. Neuroscience and findings about how traumatic experience is processed and stored psychically and bodily contribute to our perception of what may be possible in clinical practice and how trauma-focused work may differ from more classical models in technique and approach.
--- from the publisher
"This monograph contains a rich variety of material that is not usually included in traditional writings on trauma. In addition to the theoretical and clinical perspectives, poetry and storytelling join in to weave a vivid tapestry of multifaceted approaches to trauma. Whilst remaining true to its theoretical base (which, of course, is Bowlby's attachment theory), the monograph succeeds in locating its subject matter in wider perspectives, thus enabling the reader to appreciate the complexity of contributing factors. It is not easy to compile a single publication out of a conference; yet, this monograph achieves its objective by offering a coherent treatment of trauma that also includes some up-to-date approaches and innovations. The papers are written with authority, clarity and sensitivity and will provide the reader with a most beneficial elaboration of trauma from an attachment theory perspective." -- Renos K. Papadopoulos, Professor and Director, Centre for Trauma, Asylum and Refugees, University of Essex
"Trauma and Attachment engages its subject with both heart and intellect. In Gillian Slovo's moving description of her courtroom encounters with the men who murdered her mother, or in Chris Purnell's insightful memoir of growing up in a children's home, we confront the experience of trauma at its most immediate. In Bessel van der Kolk's innovative formulation, we come closer to understanding the impact of prolonged, repeated trauma on the developing child. This volume adds to the growing literature that documents the central role of disrupted attachment in most traumatic disorders." -- Judith L. Herman, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
Contributors; Acknowledgments; Trauma and Attachment: Introduction—Sarah Benamer and Kate White; Attachment Theory and the John Bowlby Memorial Lecture 2006: A Short History—Bernice Laschinger; Truth And Reconciliation?—Gillian Slovo; Surviving The Care System: A Story of Abandonment and Reconnection—Chris Purnell; The John Bowlby Memorial Lecture 2006: Developmental Trauma Disorder: A New Rational Diagnosis for Children with Complex Trauma Histories—Bessel van der Kolk; Developmental Trauma In Adults: A Response to Bessel van der Kolk—Felicity de Zulueta; The Hungry Self: Working with Attachment Trauma and Dissociation in Survivors of Childhood Abuse—Sue Richardson; The Shadow Of Murder: Love and Hate in Times of Violence—Rachel Wingfield; How Do We Help Ourselves?—Valerie Sinason; Trauma And Attachment Reading List; Introduction to the Centre for Attachment-Based Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy.
About the Editors:
Sarah Benamer is a member of the Centre for Attachment-based Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (CAPP), where she is a tutor and teacher. She works as a relational psychotherapist in private practice and has a particular interest in trauma and the body. She was employed as a community worker advocating for people with severe mental health problems and physical disabilities prior to training as a psychotherapist.
Kate White is a training therapist, supervisor, and teacher at the Centre for Attachment-based Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (CAPP). Formerly Senior Lecturer at South Bank University in the Department of Nursing and Community Health Studies, she has used her extensive experience in adult education to contribute to the innovative psychotherapy curriculum developed at CAPP. In addition to working as an individual psychotherapist, Kate runs workshops on the themes of attachment and trauma in clinical practice. Informed by her experience of growing up in South Africa, she has long been interested in the impact of race and culture on theory and on clinical practice.