Mental survival strategies after extreme traumatisationaf Sverre Varvin
Traces of extreme traumatic experiences appear in the body as painful somatic states, in the mind as threatening hallucinations and nightmares and in behaviour as maladaptive and painful acts. Present problems are interpreted in terms of past threatening experiences and daily life becomes unsafe. This book presents an in depth study of how traumatised refugees struggles with mental survival. Through a qualitative study of psychotherapy processes, mental survival strategies are identified which aims at dealing with past painful experiences and the daily difficulties of exile. The book analyses further the trauma concept as it has developed through the last century in psychiatry and psychoanalysis and discusses its usefulness for today’s clinical practice. Mental survival strategies after extreme traumatisation is based on a Dr. Philos thesis from Department Group of Psychiatry, University of Oslo, Norway. “This important book should not only be read by therapists, social workers and teachers of traumatized persons, refugees and migrants but also by a large audience. It transmits deep insights on what it really means to be a victim of persecution and torture. Varvin gives a public voice to these traumatized persons and helps that their silent sufferings may become testimonies of what human beings are capable to do to each other.” Prof. Dr. Philos Marianne Leuzinger-Bohleber, Psychoanalyst. Director of the Sigmund Freud Institute, Frankfurt, Germany. Professor of Psychoanalytic Psychology, University of Kassel, Germany “As to method, the book will remain standing as a source book in psychoanalytic research, empirical as well as conceptual.” Bjørn Killingmo, Professor Emeritus, University of Oslo. “This book is the best study on trauma in decades.” Vamik D. Volkan, M.D.; Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry, University of Virginia; Founding member and former president of the International Society of Political Psychology.