As clinicians we want to further our understanding of work with adult clients who have experienced massive and cumulative psychic trauma to which there is no possible adaptive response strategy. This monograph of the 2008 John Bowlby Memorial Conference brings together papers by leading contributors to the field of attachment and trauma that explore the means by which individuals struggle to cope with exposure to war zones, both large scale conflicts and societal breakdown, and the domestic war zones where adults and children experience violence and sexual abuse. These papers seek to further our understanding of the intergenerational transmission of experiences of trauma, as in the examples of the Holocaust and slavery. In times where talk of terror is everywhere, psychotherapists offer a clinical perspective on terror which may translate to the world at large. Papers by Professor Arietta Slade, Shoshi Asheri, Dr. Joseph Schwartz, Adah Sachs, Dick Blackwell and Judith Erskine explore topics such as: experiences of terror states in the consulting room; the multiple survival strategies engaged by people struggling to cope with exposure to relational and environmental war zones; the intergenerational transmission of trauma and terror within an historical and cultural framework; the connection between therapists' own experiences of terror and those of their clients; how therapists may appropriately adapt their approach to include those who have been seen as 'unanalysable'; how the non-verbal aspects of a terrorised person's experience can be safely and effectively worked with therapeutically and the implications for the therapeutic frame and technique; and how we might more adequately provide support and legitimacy within the profession for work 'on the edge'.
Orit Badouk Epstein is an attachment-based psychoanalytic psychotherapist and supervisor who trained at The Bowlby Centre, London where she is a member of the executive committee. She works as a relational psychotherapist in private practice and has a particular interest and passion for working with individuals who have experienced extreme abuse and trauma, DID, ritual abuse and working relationally with parents. Judy Yellin trained at The Bowlby Centre. She works as a psychotherapist in private practice and is a member of the teaching staff on the The Bowlby Centre's psychotherapy training. She frequently teaches attachment theory and relational psychotherapy in other psychotherapy training organizations. She also has a legal background and, prior to training as a therapist, specialized as a solicitor in family law and public law in relation to child protection. Judy has a particular interest in questions of attachment, sexuality, and gender, and in working with lesbians, gay men, and transgendered clients from a relational perspective. She is an associate of Pink Therapy, an organization offering affirmative psychotherapy to sexual minority clients, as well as training for psychotherapists in working effectively with the LGBT communities. She is a founder member of The Relational School and a member of its Steering and Education Committees.