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Geerts, A.E. Rechardt, E. (1978). Colloquium on 'Trauma'. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 59:365-375.

(1978). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 59:365-375

Colloquium on 'Trauma'

A. E. Geerts and Eero Rechardt

The Colloquium was opened by the Chairman, Albert Solnit (U.S.A.) who introduced Rafael Moses (Israel) and Sidney Furst (U.S.A.) who would give their respective papers. There would also be a shorter paper by Donald Cohen commenting on psychic trauma from the point of view of the experiences from his psychobiological laboratory investigations.

Solnit emphasized the great clinical importance of psychic trauma in many areas of psychopathology. It is an important concept in child development, in the upbringing of children, in hospitalization of children, etc. The psychoanalytic theory of psychic trauma is needed in the prevention and treating of traumatic reactions and traumatic neuroses. Direct clinical observations are to be tested in the psychoanalytic situation. Every theory has its limits and its own usefulness. To test this we also need experience and investigations from related areas.

The psychoanalytical theory of psychic trauma was the guiding theory in the psychological and sociological investigation of the immediate and the long-term psychic traumata caused by the flood disaster, known as the 'Black Water' catastrophe, in Buffalo Creek, Cincinnati, in 1972. This catastrophe was the result of a man-made dam breaking; 125 lives were lost and the entire coal-mining community was wiped out. Solnit continued by saying that the combined psychoanalytical, sociopsychological and biological investigation has proved productive in the study of psychic reactions after surgical operations.

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