Keeping Developmental Trauma in Mind.

Keeping Developmental Trauma in Mind.


“The development of personal being is impeded in two main ways, passive and active. Passive impediments come from the failure of caregivers to provide the necessary “facilitating environment” of resonance and recognition. Active disruption is a consequence of active and traumatic impacts upon the experience of personal being. They are stored in memory, frequently of an unconscious kind. Such memories irrupt into the larger consciousness of ordinary living, sometimes merely disturbing its surface, and, at others, taking it over completely. The effect, as Pierre Janet pointed out, is to hinder maturation. He wrote:

    “Unable to integrate traumatic memories ….it is as if…the personality has stopped at a certain point, and cannot enlarge anymore by the addition and assimilation of new elements.”

Quoted in, Russell Meares, Metaphor of Play, 2005. Keeping developmental trauma in mind is axiomatic to our work. If the cornerstone ecology of the conversational Model is the triangle of a sense of self, forms of relatedness and language, then trauma, active and passive underpins the reason that people enter the therapeutic space. This presentation will open with a brief reference to the place of trauma in the Conversational Model, especially in relation to the idea of the “two play rooms” , followed by a case presentation

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