Complex Trauma, Dissociation, and the Use of Symbolism in Therapy

Spermon, Deborah, Gibney, Paul and Darlington, Yvonne (2009) Complex Trauma, Dissociation, and the Use of Symbolism in Therapy. Journal of Trauma and Dissociation, 10 4: 436-450. doi:10.1080/15299730903179083

Author Spermon, Deborah
Gibney, Paul
Darlington, Yvonne
Title Complex Trauma, Dissociation, and the Use of Symbolism in Therapy
Journal name Journal of Trauma and Dissociation   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1529-9732
Publication date 2009
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/15299730903179083
Volume 10
Issue 4
Start page 436
End page 450
Total pages 15
Editor Jennifer J. Freyd
Place of publication USA
Publisher Routhledge, Taylor & Francis Group
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Subject C1
920410 Mental Health
160702 Counselling, Welfare and Community Services
Abstract As therapists are confronted with clients who have childhood histories of severe interpersonal trauma, the challenge is to understand how this trauma affects individuals developmentally and how healing might be facilitated. This article explores how integration might be understood in the context of complex posttraumatic stress disorder. It is proposed that the symbolic function is central both to the fracturing of selfhood due to early trauma and to its resolution. The article provides a detailed discussion of symbolism and therapeutic possibilities for the use of symbolism as an adjunct to therapy with sufferers of complex posttraumatic stress disorder. It is argued that symbols provide a potentially powerful means of assisting reintegration and that this can be used within a range of therapeutic traditions, including cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, psychopharmacological, and neurophysiological approaches. The work of the first author in this regard is illustrated by means of a case study.
Keyword complex PTSD
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 2 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 3 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 24 Jan 2010, 00:03:40 EST