Saturday, May 7, 2011

Don Kalsched on the Defenses of Trauma

"In healthy psychological development, everything depends on a gradual humanization and integration of the archetypal opposites inherent in the Self as the infant and young child wrestles with tolerable experiences of frustration (hate) in the context of a good-enough (not perfect) primary relationship. The child's ruthless aggression does not destroy his object and he can work through to guilt, reparation, and what Klein called the 'depressive position.' However, inasmuch as the traumatized child has intolerable experiences in the object world, the negative side of the Self does not personalize, remaining archaic. The internal world continues to be menaced by a diabolical, inhuman figure. Aggressive, destructive energies - ordinarily available for reality-adaptation and for healthy defense against toxic not-self objects - are directed back into the inner world. This leads to a continuation of trauma and abuse by inner objects long after the outer persecutory activity has stopped." (p. 19)

Donald Kalsched (1996). The Inner World of Trauma: Archetypal Defenses of the Personal Spirit. London: Routledge.

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