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Hopenwasser, K. (2018). Bearing the Unbearable: Meditations on Being in Rhythm. Att: New Dir. in Psychother. Relat. Psychoanal., 12(1):48-55.

(2018). Attachment: New Directions in Psychotherapy and Relational Psychoanalysis, 12(1):48-55

Bearing the Unbearable: Meditations on Being in Rhythm

Karen Hopenwasser

Many individuals who have suffered persistent, severe childhood abuse have coped with the pain and terror of abuse through a dissociative adaptation. In long-term psychotherapy with these individuals, psychotherapists can experience attunement with multiple self states, often leading to confusion and fatigue. This piece describes journal entries made by the author over several years of working with patients with complex post-traumatic stress disorder. Meditative daily walks at sunrise through a treelined river park served to comfort and balance the stress of this work. These entries describe attunement as an embodied rhythmic encounter that facilitates the management of unbearable pain in a shared healing experience.

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