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Leuzinger-Bohleber, M. (2015). Working with Severely Traumatized, Chronically Depressed Analysands. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 96(3):611-636.

(2015). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 96(3):611-636

Research Papers

Working with Severely Traumatized, Chronically Depressed Analysands Language Translation

Marianne Leuzinger-Bohleber

(Accepted for publication 19 February 2014)

Surprisingly often in the psychoanalyses of chronically depressed patients, depression represents an unconscious attempt to psychically cope with unbearable psychic pain following severe traumatisation: dissociative states, a chronified psychic state of shock, a disappearance of emotions, an emptying of the self and the object relationships, as well as a disappearance of the psyche in the body are among the possible consequences. The treatment of these difficult groups of analysands can also frequently bring analysts to the limits of the endurable. Often related to this is the repeated danger of denying the trauma, and a re-traumatisation of the analysand in the analytic situation. The lecture discusses the fact that in comparison with other therapeutic approaches, psychoanalysis has a highly differentiated conceptualisation of the psychic determinants and the treatment of chronic depression at his disposal. However, in order to retain its creativity and innovation as a scientific discipline and to be thus perceived in the non-psychoanalytic world, it must constantly further develop its conceptualization by way of systematic and extra-clinical research - as is witnessed in the insufficient conceptual account of severe traumatisation during the genesis of chronic depression. In this connection, several exemplary examples from extra-clinical studies in the sphere of psychotherapeutic research, neurobiology, epigenetics and embodied cognitive science will be accounted for. As will be treated in the final part of this paper, of no less importance are the conceptualizations in clinical research on psychoanalysis, which are based on meticulous, careful analyses of trauma reactivation in the transference, and understanding and working through them in the analytic relationship.

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