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Shaw, D. (2018). Working with Dissociated Aggression in Traumatised Patients. Att: New Dir. in Psychother. Relat. Psychoanal., 12(1):16-24.

(2018). Attachment: New Directions in Psychotherapy and Relational Psychoanalysis, 12(1):16-24

Working with Dissociated Aggression in Traumatised Patients

Daniel Shaw, LCSW

Our patients whose developmental history was marked by cumulative relational trauma are often left in a state of endless longing for the abusive, depriving parent's love. The withheld love is felt as a fatal impediment to living, and some kind of magical reparation from the abuser is imagined as the only hope of being brought back to life. What is often dissociated by these patients, who present a part of themselves that feels like an eternally ruined victim, is the intense frustrated rage they feel. The author describes his work with a profoundly dissociative patient whose powerful rage emerged, towards herself, towards others, and towards the therapist. The author suggests that it is critical to identify this rage and its destructive impact on the patient, her relationships and on the therapy, for the grip of the fantasy of magic reparation to be released.

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