Mimetic vs Anti-Mimetic Theories of Trauma

 Radstone writes that Something else gets lost, too, in trauma theory’s retreat from the significance of unconscious process of memory formation and revision.  And emphasis on the centrality of unconscious process to all aspects of psychical life has the effect of reminding readers and analysts of two important aspects of that life.  First, a fundamental…

Key Concepts in Trauma from LaCapra

Foundational Trauma: the sense tha traumatic events in the past may be adopted and internalized in such a way that “recovery” or “getting over it” is seen to “dishonor” the trauma, or as a betrayal to the victims.  Thus, the identification with that past experience of trauma becomes foundational in the personal or collective identity.…

PTSD as Neurological Injury

You can sprain your ankle.  Arterial plaques can construct The blood flow to your heart. But we don’t have sufficient understanding of the brain to describe exactly how emotional trauma leads to cognitive injury. In the past, I thought it possible that PTSD was perhaps and adaptive response to Trumatic environments. The symptoms of restlessness,…

Allegiance and Childhood Narratives

The reason why allegiance become so important in children is that the narrative of the family fundamentally determines how a child (and the parents, too, but certainly the parents) sees his or her own self fitting within the larger framework of adult society.  As Alice Miller writes in The Gifted Child, “I had completed two…

Allegiance to Social Identity

“Allegiance,” as I’m seeing it, is about a deeper affinity that mere alliance, and it’s a bit different from relationship.  Relationship would be that your life (or fate, or destiny) is tied to the life of another.  A child has a relationship with parents, a CEO has a relationship with the corporation.  But relationship does…

Allegiance, King of the Hill, and the Telephone Game

Autobiography within the frameworks of Berlant’s intimate publics becomes a telephone game.  “Normative” expectations become warped as informational integrity becomes attenuated.  One person says something, then another person has to say something “more real” (i.e. more extreme) as a way to maintain authority within a shifting political framework. This doesn’t always happen.  People like Ghandi,…

Personal Narratives and Self-Help

Perhaps one of the most important genre conventions of self help books is the personal narrative. In some cases, the personal narrative is used to describe the authors past life, past mistakes, and past successes – this personal narrative is meant as a kind of resume to support the author’s position as an authority figure.…

Self-Help Books Use Personal Narratives from Therapeutic Settings

I have trouble “trusting” books by Susan Forward and some others because the examples seem rather inflammatory, possibly even exaggerated.  But the experiences described are very, very relatable – clearly effective rhetorically due to that sense of interpersonal resonance, but does this also indicate epistemic validity?  Is the ethos “real” as in authentic?  Or manufactured…