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Trauma and Human Existence : Autobiographical, Psychoanalytic, and Philosophical Reflections
Stolorow, Robert D., PhD
Routledge / The Analytic Press / Softcover / 2007-06-01 / 0881634670
Psychoanalysis / CTP Texts
reg price: $43.50 our price: $ 39.15
72 pages
In Stock (Ships within one business day)

Robert Stolorow is presenting a day at the Centre for Training in Psychotherapy in Toronto May 5th, 2007.

Trauma and Human Existence effectively interweaves two themes central to emotional trauma—the first of which pertains to the contextuality of emotional life in general, and of the experience of emotional trauma in particular, and the second of which pertains to the recognition that the possibility of emotional trauma is built into the basic constitution of human existence. The volume traces how both themes interconnect, largely as they crystallize in the author’s personal experience of traumatic loss. As discussed in the book’s final chapter, whether or not this constitutive possibility will be brought lastingly into the foreground of our experiential world depends on the relational contexts in which we live.

Taken as a whole, Trauma and Human Existence exhibits the unity of the deeply personal, the theoretical, and the philosophical in the understanding of emotional trauma and the place it occupies in human existence. --- from the publisher

Critical Acclaim:

"Stolorow’s Trauma and Human Existence is a remarkable integration of deep self-reflections on intimate, often painful, and sometimes tragic experience, his philosophical investigation of selfhood in living context, and psychoanalytic theorizing on time, affect, and trauma. His powerful conclusion utilizes recent critiques of Heideggerian philosophy to examine even death as an essentially relational phenomenon. This is an important addition to the now long line of works that constitute the corpus of Stolorow and colleagues’ intersubjectivity theory."

- Lewis Aron, Ph.D., Director, NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis

"In his new book, Robert Stolorow has accomplished a minor miracle, presenting for the reader a theoretically complex, philosophically strong, and yet almost unbearably sad and humane understanding of traumatic experience. It successfully portrays the overwhelming, all-encompassing, and ever-enduring effects of tragic loss, using the premature death of his young wife some sixteen years ago to illustrate how the event forever colors his own experience. Anyone reading this book must take away from it not only a heightened appreciation for the uses of philosophical-psychoanalytic investigation and integration, but as important, a greater understanding of one’s own private life in which traumatic loss surely plays its central organizing role."

- Estelle Shane, Ph.D., President, International Association for Psychoanalytic Self Psychology

"Robert Stolorow has done a masterful job of integrating two central themes: one involving the context-dependence of the experience of emotional trauma and the other relating to the idea that emotional trauma is built into the basic foundation of our existence. It represents psychoanalysis at its finest – its themes are beautifully conceptualized, richly exemplified, and profoundly relevant."

- Judith Alpert, Ph.D., President, Division of Trauma Psychology, American Psychological Association

"This is a fascinating, phenomenologically rich reflection on emotional trauma that shows the surprisingly powerful relevance of Heidegger for contemporary psychoanalysis."

- Simon Critchley, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy, New School for Social Research


1. The Contextuality of Emotional Life
2. The Contextuality of Emotional Trauma
3. The Phenomenology of Trauma and the Absolutisms of Everyday Life
4. Trauma and Temporality
5. Trauma and the "Ontological Unconscious"
6. Anxiety, Authenticity, and Trauma
7. Conclusions: Siblings in the Same Darkness

About the Author:

Robert D. Stolorow, Ph.D., is a founding faculty member of the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis, a founding faculty member at the Institute for the Psychoanalytic Study of Subjectivity, and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine. He lives in Santa Monica, California.George E. Atwood, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology at Rutgers University, a member of the International Council for Self Psychology, and a faculty member at the Institute for the Psychoanalytic Study of Subjectivity. He lives in Clinton, New Jersey

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