Trauma: Contemporary Directions in Theory, Practice, and Research is a comprehensive text on trauma, including such phenomena as sexual abuse, childhood trauma, PTSD, terrorism, natural disasters, cultural trauma, school shootings, and combat trauma. Addressing multiple theoretical systems and how each system conceptualizes trauma, the book offers valuable information about therapeutic process dimensions and the use of specialized methods and clinical techniques in trauma work, with an emphasis on how trauma treatment may affect the clinician. Intended for courses in clinical practice and psychopathology, the book may also be useful as a graduate-level text in the allied mental health professions.



History of Trauma Theory

The relationship between trauma and mental illness was first investigated by the neurologist Jean Martin Charcot, a French physician who was working with traumatized women in the Salpetriere hospital. During the late 19th century, a major focus of Charcot's study was hysteria, a disorder commonly diagnosed in women. Hysterical symptoms were characterized by sudden paralysis, amnesia, sensory loss, and convulsions. Women comprised the vast majority of patients with hysteria, and at the time, such symptoms were thought to originate in the uterus. Until Charcot, the common treatment for hysteria was hysterectomy. Charcot was the first to understand that the origin of hysterical symptoms was not physiological but rather psychological in nature, although he was not interested in the inner lives of ...

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