Indescribable and the Undiscussable : Reconstructing Human Discourse after Trauma

Format: Hardcover
Pub. Date: 1999-09-01
Publisher(s): Central European Univ Pr
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Laymen and practitioners alike face serious difficulties in making sense of each other's feelings, behaviour, and discourse both in everyday life and after traumatic experiences. Acknowledging and working through these difficulties is the subject of this extremely interesting and highly readable book.After a critical look at some psychological and philosophical literature, Dan Bar-On identifies two groups of impediments. First, the indescribable, as it appears when individuals try to understand and integrate experiences, such as their first heart attack, into a previous life-expensive or when a group of pathfinders talk about their different maps of the mind and nature, or when a team of welfare practitioners tries to develop a common approach to their regional population. Second, the undiscussable, as it appears in the transmission, from generation to generation, of the traumatic experiences of the families of both Holocaust survivors and Nazi perpetrators. The book shows how descendants can work through the burden of the past by confronting themselves and each other through a prolonged group encounter.The book provides a unique way of looking at individual and life experiences. It proposes a new theoretical psychological framework which both laymen and professionals can relate to, whilst also confronting similar issues in their everyday experiences and discourse.

Table of Contents

Prologue xi
Introduction 1(26)
Part I The indescribable: ``soft'' impediments to discourse
Multiple representations: maps of mind and nature
Subjective theories of cardiac patients
Negotiating attributions: developing a constructive dialog
Feeling-facts: searching for words related to feelings
Pure and impure ideologies: the change of social contexts
Part II Severe impediments to discourse
Silenced facts from the victimizers' perspective
Silenced facts from the victims' perspective
My father and I: constructing a moral imagination
Psychosocial learning from experience
Epilogue 293(4)
References 297(8)
Index 305

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