Posted in Complex Trauma, Post-traumatic Stress

The Inner World of Trauma

Donald opened with a poem by Emily Dickinson

There is a pain – so utter –

It swallows substance up –

Then covers the Abyss with Trance –

So Memory can step

Around – across – upon it –

As one within a Swoon –

Goes safely – where an open eye –

Would drop Him –

Bone by Bone.(Selected Poems, Everyman, 1996)

According to the Donald, this poem describes how the inner world comes to the rescue of the trauma survivor. In terms of the psyche, trauma is any experience that causes unbearable pain or anxiety. Anything that leaves the child feeling that the essence of who they are is defective or missing in essential value and therefore at risk of annihilation is traumatic. Dissociation is necessary for the individual to go on living; the pain is distributed to make it more manageable. It also saves something of spirit for later growth. This is a self-care system that allows one part to regress and the other part to progress.

Donald spoke of the split between the innocent part of the self that has been saved by an ‘imaginal inner world of companions’. This self is now in hiding from the real world with its undependable attachments. This is a world of tyrannical infantilism where the victim becomes the perpetrator, where the personal is projected onto the general and vice versa. He describes a ‘Self-Care System’ that protects the personality from disintegration, a system that a) makes meaning for child’s life, b) that regulates distance from the world of others – ‘all by myself’ might be the catchword, c) establishes self-regulation to control aggression towards the other and d) promotes self preservation by keeping feelings at bay, very often through addictions – a slow suicide. This is a world where there are no memories, only flashbacks and repetition.  Relationship is the conduit through which this painful work can be repaired. He articulates what we as humanistic and integrative psychotherapists have held – that relationship is the way through this impasse. https://iahip.org/inside-out/issue-55-summer-2008/the-inner-world-of-trauma-the-lost-and-recovered-soul-public-lecture-and-seminar-with-donald-kalsched-ph-d-4th-and-5th-april-2008

Author:

Currently studying Psychotherapy , Cognitive psychology, Hypnotherapy. Qualified NLP practitioner and CBT therapist. REIKI Master. I believe in truth, honesty and integrity! ≧◔◡◔≦ https://www.linkedin.com/in/linda-turner-retreat/

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