Psychoanalysis and trauma

Authored by: Sverre Varvin

The Routledge Handbook of Psychoanalysis in the Social Sciences and Humanities

Print publication date:  April  2016
Online publication date:  April  2016

Print ISBN: 9780415626927
eBook ISBN: 9781315650821
Adobe ISBN: 9781317308201


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Trauma, or better, traumatization, places the relation between external reality and psychic reality in focus. This has been a conflictual theme for psychoanalysis throughout its history (e.g., which role to assign to external events and early environment in the causation and maintenance of psychic distress and illness). How is experience represented in the psyche, how is it “personalized,” and what role does fantasy derived from drive conflicts play in the shaping of the perception of personal experience? How is the internal world of wishes, conflicts and deficits (resulting from trauma) negotiated in human interaction?

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