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N. 2 (2021)

Trauma and the Social-Psychic Retreats. Facing and Transforming in Group Analytic Groups – Clinical and Applied

April 28, 2023


The universality of trauma as a fact of life activates extensive fields for their explorations, scientific and otherwise. In this lecture we will focus on an important and complex cluster of trauma responses, of trauma defense mechanisms – the psychic retreats (PR) and the social-psychic retreats (SPR). Although, like trauma itself, these phenomena are also universal, they are neither easy for revealing nor for explaining and understanding. Therefore, most often they stay hidden under the surface of human interactions, causing various damaging effects onto persons, families, communities, and societies. We plan to talk about how we can recognize them, as well as, how to cope with. Group analytic groups, small, median and large, are of special value as spaces with available techniques for encountering them with less fear than in many other circumstances. Therefore, in our groups it is possible to make joint efforts in containing, revealing and transforming them within the warmth of human understanding. Examples will be shared from clinical groups, as well as from applied group analytic work as are Reflective Citizens workshops. We hope to have time for sharing new phenomena from this area: in current Covid19 pandemics and globalized psycho-social trauma new dynamics related to the “shattering of SPRs” occur, like various bizarre destructive particles from previous more stable forms of SPRs detaching from their previous usual bearing places are floating in our matrices making scary forms. Recognizing and more awareness might be useful for preventing damages.

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