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Stolorow, R.D. (2008). The Contextuality and Existentiality of Emotional Trauma. Psychoanal. Dial., 18(1):113-123.

(2008). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 18(1):113-123

The Contextuality and Existentiality of Emotional Trauma

Robert D. Stolorow, Ph.D.

In this article I chronicle the emergence of two interrelated themes that crystallized in my investigations of emotional trauma during the more than 16 years that followed my own experience of traumatic loss. One pertains to the context-embeddedness of emotional trauma and the other to the claim that the possibility of emotional trauma is built into our existential constitution. I find a reconciliation and synthesis of these two themes—trauma's contextuality and its existentiality—in the recognition of the bonds of deep emotional attunement we can form with one another in virtue of our common finitude.

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