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A book worth reading

Posted by Pfinstegg on February 5, 2005, at 20:11:23

My analyst recently recommended to me ""Trauma and Recovery" "by Judith Herman, Written in 1997, it gives an excellent overview of how csa has been thought of during the last 150 years. The reality of it has apparently been understood, and then quickly forgotten, at least three times during that period, because of the painfulness of the topic, and the damage it does to everyone's sense of hope about life.

Two parts were especially helpful to me. The first was how treatment proceeds- beginning with the establishment of a basic sense of safety, and at least a partial attachment to the therapist. The second stage involves remembering and mourning, and the final stage regaining a sense of agency and competence as one moves out more into life again. The author emphasized that these processes overlap, and are revisited many times. There was also a lot of emphasis of how long this process usually takes- a number of years- perhaps even many years- depending on the complexity and length of the trauma.

There was a very interesting section on the kinds of "traumatic transferences" people tend to develop when they have histories of severe abuse, and the very complicated counter-transferences which occur in the therapists.

The final really interesting thing was that this author thinks there is basically ONE diagnosis in people with csa- Complex PTSD. She thinks that "borderline PD" should be relegated to the scrapheap, as "hysteria" was before it.

This is the first time in two years of therapy that my analyst recommended a book to me: it helped me understand the kind of transference reactions I have been having, so I thought I'd pass the title along to all the Babblers who are struggling with the same thing that I am.




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