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Bradfield, B. (2011). The Dissociation of Lived Experience: A Relational Psychoanalytic Analysis of the Intergenerational Transmission of Trauma. Int. J. Psychoanal. Self Psychol., 6(4):531-550.

(2011). International Journal of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology, 6(4):531-550

The Dissociation of Lived Experience: A Relational Psychoanalytic Analysis of the Intergenerational Transmission of Trauma

Bruce Bradfield, M.A.

The history of psychic trauma and consequences is diverse and rich, and attempts to make meaning out of a phenomenon that resists knowing. This article, through an analysis of the relationship between a mother and her adult child, investigates the transmission of trauma from the survivor generation to the children of that generation. I emphasize the role of attachment relationships and dissociation in this process of transmission. In addition, the article clarifies dissociation as a primarily relational process, which keeps traumatic experience unformulated and ambiguously signified in both the mother and her child. The consequences are noted in terms of how they reflect links between the mother's and the child's intrapsychic and relational experience. A methodology involving triangulation of phenomenological hermeneutic, narrative, and psychoanalytic case study methodologies was applied to the analysis of data collected.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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