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Rothstein, A. (1986). Chapter 14: Conclusion. The Reconstruction of Trauma: Its Significance in Clinical Work, 219-230.

Rothstein, A. (1986). Chapter 14: Conclusion. The Reconstruction of Trauma: Its Significance in Clinical Work , 219-230

Chapter 14: Conclusion Book Information Previous Up Next

Arnold Rothstein, M.D.

In concluding this monograph it is clear that fundamental questions in regard to the reconstruction of trauma have not been answered: What is psychic trauma? What is reconstruction? How does reconstruction happen in a therapeutic experience and how does it help a patient considered to have been traumatized? In the process of discussing these basic questions three relatively different organizing perspectives became clarified by virtue of their distinctive emphases. I will designate these theoretical perspectives: the hermeneutic, the developmental, and the adaptational. In addition, it was clear that such a process of discussion was not only intellectually interesting and of heuristic value, but it also contributed to the formulation of questions which beckon contemporary and future colleagues to develop additional research methodologies to further elucidate the significance of the reconstruction of trauma in clinical work.

What do we mean by the term psychic trauma? Brenner suggests that “it is the meaning which an external event has for an individual which accounts for its traumatic effect on him” (p. 200). In addition, Brenner emphasizes that “an event is traumatic because of the way it impinges on the traumatized individual's preexisting psychic conflicts” (p. 197).


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