TRAUMA'S LABYRINTH

FINDING WAYS OUT OF TRAUMA

Do we really need the “unconscious” anymore?

Do we really need the “unconscious” anymore?

The idea of the unconscious — that part of mental life filled with unintentional motivations — is often associated with Sigmund Freud, who famously identified dreams and their symbolic imagery as the “royal road” to this untamed aspect of the psyche. C. G. Jung, Pierre Janet, Jean-Martin Charcot, and other theorists of the nineteenth and…Continue Reading

“Toys of War”

“Toys of War”

In this touching and brief documentary by Andrew Berends, children in South Sudan use clay, pieces of fabric, and flowers to narrate the raid on their village that led to murder of family members and their current state of homelessness. Art is known to help heal the psychological rupture that trauma causes. For these Sudanese children, their creative ‘play’ gives expression…Continue Reading

“We Gotta Pray” by Alicia Keys

“We Gotta Pray” by Alicia Keys

According to a New York Times article, “Ms. Keys said she wrote the song in the past few months, moved by the deaths on Staten Island and in Ferguson, Mo., where Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot and killed by a white police officer. ‘We absolutely feel disregarded as human beings,’ said Ms.…Continue Reading

Longing

Longing

The hollow growl in my stomach when I fill the day gorging on my ‘to do’ list. Idling on the runway, waiting for Gate 64C to pocket our arrival. The way his belly peeked below his shirt when he stretched his arms. Imagining my finger tracing the wrinkles in his worried brow. Realizing the phone…Continue Reading

Is it possible to recover from rape and sexual abuse? Yes and No

Is it possible to recover from rape and sexual abuse? Yes and No

When she was twenty-two years old, philosopher Karyn L. Freedman was viciously raped at knifepoint. She narrowly escaped being murdered and her body disposed, perhaps never to be found. In her memoir, One Hour in Paris, Freedman recounted her efforts to heal from this horrifying ordeal. Nearly 25 years have passed since she was raped,…Continue Reading

Bessel van der Kolk’s “The Body Keeps The Score”

Bessel van der Kolk’s “The Body Keeps The Score”

I just started reading Bessel van der Kolk’s new book, The Body Keeps The Score. I’m thrilled one of the pioneers in the treatment of psychological trauma is sharing his wisdom in a style that is accessible to practitioners as well as people seeking to heal their own wounds — two groups that share a lot of overlap. Dr.…Continue Reading

Dreaming of a Safe America

Dreaming of a Safe America

  The airstrikes against the Islamic State, a decidedly violent and oppressive group, are deeply unsettling, bringing forth memories of 9/ll and the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, along with fears that America will never extract itself from this region of the world, or be safe from revengeful terrorist groups. At such times, it’s natural to…Continue Reading

A Meditation on Violence Against Women and Nature

A Meditation on Violence Against Women and Nature

“He says that woman speaks with nature. That she hears voices from under the earth. That wind blows in her ears and trees whisper to her. That the dead sing through her mouth and the cries of infants are clear to her. But for him this dialogue is over. He says he is not part…Continue Reading