Trauma and abuse

Trowell, Judith (2021) Trauma and abuse. Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 35 (4). pp. 335-352. ISSN 0266-8734 (Print); 1474-9734 (Electronic)

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In this paper I reflect on my work with adult patients and the Tavistock based sexually abused girls study. I discuss two young women who came for help with their relationships, but subsequently disclosed having been sexually abused as children. I was particularly interested since contrary to what one might expect, the young woman who seemed to enjoy better relationship with her mother did less well in treatment. These two patients are contrasting and this underlines the importance of focussing on specific aspects of the primary maternal object relationship that are unique to each individual in understanding the ability to benefit from therapy. Important features shared across the two patients such as PTSD, the distortion of time, and the role of the father are considered. The timing of the disclosure is also an issue. Both patients elicit strong countertransference responses that were difficult to manage and the value of supervision was stressed. The author tries to address two questions, why the patient who had a better maternal relationship did not benefit as much, secondly the point in treatment when the disclosure occurred.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Received 11 Aug 2021, Accepted 05 Oct 2021, Published online: 29 Nov 2021
Uncontrolled Keywords: Trauma, Treatment, Sexual Abuse, Disclosure
Subjects: Children, Young People and Developmental Pyschology > Child Sexual Abuse - Psychology
Human Psychological Processes > Stress
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services

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