By Peter Elsass
Torture is without doubt one of the most annoying and psychologically devastating of human behaviors. It dehumanizes its sufferers, leaving them with critical and lasting mental wounds. Like different mental trauma, torture often leaves in its wake denial and silence between either perpetrators and their sufferers. This communicative void creates a public and psychological block that could make therapy of torture survivors very tricky. Treating sufferers of Torture and Violence is the definitive handbook for therapists treating sufferers of torture, prisoners of struggle, and casualties of pressured migration. Divided into 5 sections facing uncomplicated techniques of torture--violence and aggression, the torture syndrome, psychotherapeutic remedy, the cultural psychology of torture syndrome, and cultural mental treatment-- Treating sufferers of Torture and Violence employs either vintage psychoanalytic and cognitive- behavioral equipment. figuring out that torture sufferers are often from various cultures than these in their therapists, Peter Elsass offers in-depth reduction to therapists facing a multicultural customers.
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Additional info for Treating Victims of Torture and Violence: Theoretical Cross-Cultural, and Clinical Implications
One can be led astray by the nature of torture and thus not see the psychological sequelae as depending on the person’s individual capacity to organize and integrate internal psychological processes with external traumatic events (Bustos , Danieli , McKegney ). These are great demands on therapists and their institution, making the treatment one of the most demanding in psychotherapy. Summary and Clinical Applications • Experienced clinicians are seldom in doubt about whether a person has been exposed to torture.
By contrast, resistance to talking about the emotionally stressful subjects is sometimes mentioned as a positive coping mechanism, which is necessary to counteract further disintegration of the ego (Müller ). Verbalization of the traumatic experiences does not always improve the symptoms or increase the autonomy, and there are reports that the drop-out rate may therefore be high, and that the treatment contract with the client has often to be revised to avoid drop out (Müller : ). Most psychotherapists agree, however, that each patient’s “trauma story” can be used as a centerpiece of treatment (Mollica ).
By contrast, one cannot always consider violent behavior as an indication of an internal aggressive instinct. For instance, we cannot assume that aggressive feelings were present in the pilot who, from a great height, dropped the bomb over Hiroshima. The two groups were surprisingly similar; very few could give qualiﬁed explanations of why they were working with war and violence, and psychologically they were unformulated and naive and characterized by denial and idyllization (Kull ). Most cultural psychologists are skeptical about whether it is possible to extract from some cross-cultural studies an “essence” of aggression, which, as a natural property, can be seen in different varieties in various cultural contexts.
Treating Victims of Torture and Violence: Theoretical Cross-Cultural, and Clinical Implications by Peter Elsass