“Trauma of this magnitude varies from the acute, shattering experiences of child abuse so prominent in the literature today to the more “cumulative traumas” of unmet dependency-needs that mount up to devastating effect in some children’s development, including the more acute deprivations of infancy described by Winnicott as “primitive agonies,” the experience of which is “unthinkable.” The distinguishing feature of such trauma is what Heinz Kohut called “disintegration anxiety,” an unnameable dread associated with the threatened dissolution of a coherent self.”
I’m reposting an intro to a book that I have found profoundly helpful. Coming to recognize and understand what Donald Kalsched speaks about in The Inner World of Trauma has been one of the now many pivotal points in my own healing process. Understanding the complex he talks about in this book has allowed me to integrate and heal parts of my being I had, prior to digesting the material he shares, been at a loss with how proceed. I was well aware of the complex from meditation and mindful observation but didn’t know how to interpret it. For me, this has been a largely contemplative and somatic healing process and not one I pursued through psychoanalysis, which is, of course, what the author recommends.
I have friends, both professional and lay people, who have found the book extraordinarily helpful as well so I’m sharing the introduction again so…
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