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Political Violence: Transgenerational Inscription and Trauma

Political Violence: Transgenerational Inscription and Trauma ABSTRACT Threatened by voices by popular dissent, some South American governments used massive imprisonments, systematic torture of prisoners, executions, indictments, and forced exile to silence and intimidate thousands of men and women. This profoundly disturbed all aspects of “normal” life from the co‐existence of different groups of the population to the core of the family. The traumatic effect produced by these events, which are both repressive to, and sustained in children's personality development, and the family as a whole, cannot be ignored. This article will look at the way in which terror is imprinted upon the psyche of victims of violence, and the effects of the transmission of that imprint from one generation to the next if there is no treatment intervention. The word “mark” is used to describe this imprint, its manifestations, and its effects on the psychic life of survivors and their children. The word “inscription” is used to describe the way in which this mark is burned into the psyche, just as the tattoos of Auschwitz were burned into the skin. Four case examples will elucidate how these histories of violence disturb the individual capacity to examine reality. They will explore the ways in which the defense mechnisms, built to insure psychic survival, are strained by the struggle between keeping the secret of umentionable and irresolvable horrors and the need to restore psychic continuity. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies Wiley

Political Violence: Transgenerational Inscription and Trauma

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
ISSN
1742-3341
eISSN
1556-9187
DOI
10.1002/aps.1310
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

ABSTRACT Threatened by voices by popular dissent, some South American governments used massive imprisonments, systematic torture of prisoners, executions, indictments, and forced exile to silence and intimidate thousands of men and women. This profoundly disturbed all aspects of “normal” life from the co‐existence of different groups of the population to the core of the family. The traumatic effect produced by these events, which are both repressive to, and sustained in children's personality development, and the family as a whole, cannot be ignored. This article will look at the way in which terror is imprinted upon the psyche of victims of violence, and the effects of the transmission of that imprint from one generation to the next if there is no treatment intervention. The word “mark” is used to describe this imprint, its manifestations, and its effects on the psychic life of survivors and their children. The word “inscription” is used to describe the way in which this mark is burned into the psyche, just as the tattoos of Auschwitz were burned into the skin. Four case examples will elucidate how these histories of violence disturb the individual capacity to examine reality. They will explore the ways in which the defense mechnisms, built to insure psychic survival, are strained by the struggle between keeping the secret of umentionable and irresolvable horrors and the need to restore psychic continuity. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Journal

International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic StudiesWiley

Published: Jun 1, 2012

References