From Trauma to Treatment
Traumas both acute and cumulative (mass violence, crimes against humanity, and institutional or systemic) are considered as disorders of dehumanization in this course. We will look at the treatment of trauma as a process of rehumanization for survivors of atrocity and enslavement both in the U.S. and elsewhere. Severe trauma becomes intractable when human suffering goes unwitnessed by the community and the society at large through secretiveness, disbelief, apathy, dread, or vengeance. Rehumanization prevails over retraumatization when traumatic injury finds therapeutic witness.
In this course, we will explore the theory and practice of witnessing and acknowledgment in the clinical hours. We will consider how a focus on rehumanization elevates witnessing to equal status with insight and interpreting, and how this shift can move psychotherapy into territory beyond inner conflict and relational deficit. This course aims to address the theory and practice of psychoanalytic psychotherapy within a sociopolitical context.
At the conclusion of this intermediate-level program, participants will be able to:
- Describe the history of aggression and its relationship with trauma within the psychoanalytic tradition.
- Define the terms dehumanization and rehumanization and describe how these terms link with crimes against humanity and therapeutic technique.
- Discuss and define how the terms “therapeutic witness” and “acknowledgement” are used within psychodynamic psychotherapy.
- Identify impediments to clinical work with victims of torture from interpersonal, countertransference, and social justice perspectives.
- Identify and respond thoughtfully to the ‘intergenerational transmission of trauma’ in the consulting room.
- Discuss and work collaboratively with other attendees to develop skills to treat victims of dehumanization.
Larry Miller, Ph.D., developed and leads the Child Haven Internship and Practicum training program in Fairfield, treating trauma in families and children since 2003. He has also worked with Bosnian refugees through Survivors International, as well as Death Row inmates in appellate processes. Dr. Miller has taught courses on trauma and dehumanization for several years at The Wright Institute. He has a practice in Berkeley.
Harvey Peskin, Ph.D., is a Professor Emeritus at San Francisco State University, former president of PINC, and recipient of the International Psychoanalytic Association’s 2013 Hayman Prize for Published Work Pertaining to Traumatized Children and Adults. Dr. Peskin has taught courses on trauma and dehumanization for several years at The Wright Institute. He has a practice in Berkeley.
This course is for clinicians at all levels who are looking to enhance their awareness of dehumanization in the world, in their patients’ lives, and in the consulting room. Some background in the principles of psychoanalytic approaches would be helpful, but is not necessary.
Enrollees who cancel at least SEVEN DAYS prior to the event date will receive a refund minus a $35 administrative charge. No refunds will be allowed after this time. Transfer of registrations are not allowed.