TRAUMA – DISSOCIATION AND INTEGRATION
LILO TUTSCH, RENATE BUKOVSKI
In the first part, the article describes dissociation as a survival mechanism of the person in traumatic experiences. The experience of dissociation, the effects on self- and world-perception of the person, the consequences in their manifold symptoms as well as theoretical and historical reflections are discussed. The second part deals with requirements and some approaches towards the integration of (partially) dissociated experiences in the psychotherapeutic process.
Keywords: trauma, dissociation, integration, stabilization, self-distance, empathy, solace
LIMITS: THE HUMAN CHALLENGE
An introduction to the conference topic
An introduction to the topic of limits, particularly in view of border demarcation, experience of limits and individual development aspects. The topic is discussed with respect to politics, society, human relations and the individual. A focus will be on the question what functions, meanings and characteristics limits have.
Keywords: limit, function of limits, experience of limits, individual development
BEING TO THE END
Border experience in the horizon of time
In the consciousness of a finite limitation, a chronological experience of time tempts us to become faster and faster in order to gain time. In this case, a forced pace proves to be a dynamic of bustling zealousness expressed in multiple facets of hasty responsiveness and operative activity. Yet we live in the course of elapsing time within our historical development and changes, requiring a beginning and ending of all things. Death is the inevitable barrier and restriction to our existence, not solely occurrence of an uncertain upcoming future, rather present in the midst of life each time we arrive at limits.
Therefore, within this horizon of finiteness, limits are set for our Dasein, making it necessary for us to grasp our own opportunities of development and growth as well as to assume our own selves as basis to our action.
Keywords: anxiety, finiteness, presence, border situation, time
FROM ENDURANCE TO ACCEPTANCE OF BORDER EXPERIENCES
The shock caused by border experiences such as unexpected losses, severe somatopsychic disorders and the similar is often combined with the experience of helplessness, despair and hopelessness as well as thoughts such as “I cannot bear this”, “it will never get better again” and much more. When confronted with the limit, processing abilities can be so overstrained, that various coping reactions provide the only possibility of ensuring “survival”.
When someone seeks professional psychotherapeutic assistance in/after such experiences, he/she should be cautiously helped to become conscious of his/her protective mechanisms and accompanied on the way from the primary ability of endurance towards acceptance of the new life situation. The objective is to let be what has been experienced and to regain relationship to oneself and to the remaining possibilities in life. In the process, neither the person affected nor the therapist knows whether or which development possibilities could be revealed to the individual from the depth of being a person in the light of the border experience, since the human being is always more than what he/she or somebody else can know about (Jaspers 1999).
Keywords: border experience, psychotherapy, suffering, enduring, accepting
LIFE ON THE BORDERS
A challenge to us all
Life on the borders with its dangers of discrimination and exclusion affects transidentical people/persons (transsexuals), but also people with homosexual orientation. Transsexuals are thus, especially during their transition process, subjected to heteronomy to an extreme extent, such as needing a special permission for all steps taken, partially in form of certificates, and must submit to certain requirements. Also the labeling approach through psychiatric diagnosis as being “sick” urges transsexuals into a peripheral position, even though Transidentity is not a mental disorder but a standard variant. In order to dismantle exclusion we should generally comprehend people “being different” as a challenge and an enrichment (in the sense of diversity). Transsexuals and people with homosexual orientation can also have a positive effect on the whole of society by encouraging others to “being different”.
Keywords: exclusion, diversity, homosexuality, transidentity, transsexualism
RESILIENCE – WHAT STRENGTHENS UND PROTECTS CHILDREN
MAIKE RÖNNAU-BÖSE & KLAUS FRÖHLICH-GILDHOFF
The following article focuses on the concept of resilience and principles of resilience promotion. A strength-oriented perspective on the child, the protective factor of stable relationship as well as a multimodal approach proves to be important parameters of a successful resilience promotion. The childtherapy has a big potential to promote resilience. Specific personal resources, the resilience factors, can be integrated into the therapeutic process and thus inspire more targeted measures of resilience promotion within the scope of child psychotherapy.
Keywords: resilience, child psychotherapy, resilience promotion, relationship
SELF-ACCEPTANCE AND SELF-CONFIDENCE
Personal requirements for the handling of border experiences
When we reach limits in our lives, we cannot simply continue as before. We then face challenges we must master, requesting us to deal with that what resists, to integrate it and come to terms with it. Self-acceptance and self-confidence are essential requirements for this purpose. Because: Self-acceptance constitutes the personal ground for dealing with and overcoming limits. It makes people independent from external conditions and connects with the inviolable dignity of the human. In self-confidence the human activates self-acceptance, enabling a confrontation with inner and outer conditions. Essential steps for work on and with self-acceptance as well as self-confidence are outlined.
Keywords: self-acceptance, self-confidence, limit, border experience
BOUNDARIES – A KEY TO EXISTENCE
Life and suffering at the boundaries of human existence
At the beginning, reference is made to the fundamental significance of boundaries for being and life, and it is made clear to which extent boundaries pervade all animate and inanimate nature. This renders comprehensible, that boundaries equally pervade the social and personal space and are necessary for shaping existence. Subsequently, the article goes into details concerning psychological problems, the difficulties for its understanding and its acceptance. Following a systematic of boundaries and its anthropological location, the ways of dealing with them are illuminated and the value of boundaries is reflected upon. Finally, the potential of boundaries and their dynamics within the dimensions of existence and its preconditions are analyzed, wherein they appear as enablement and so paradoxically contribute to freedom.
Keywords: boundary, existence, potential, limitation, enablement
EXERCISES TO THE PHENOMENOLOGICAL RESEARCH METHOD
SILVIA LÄNGLE & STEPHANIE HÄFELE-HAUSMANN
The Hermeneutic-Phenomenological Research Method is a new instrument for an intersubjectively verifiable procedure in qualitative research. Following its initial description (2015), an example for the concrete implementation of this method with a patient from a long-term station for addiction therapy is described in this article.
The practical approach is described by means of just one question of the interview set to demonstrate its step by step implementation. For this purpose the most comprehensive question is utilized: What does a good life mean for you? Questions are posed at the beginning and end of therapy enabling the therapy effect to become apparent in pre- and post-comparison. Application of the phenomenological procedure leads to a “bracketing” of factual interpretation (cognitive level), of affective interpretation (psychic level), as well as of experience based interpretation (personal respecting level). In this manner, the examination receives a character of encounter by reference to the expressed and meant in what has been said by the patient him/herself. This is conceived as the essential, by which means therapy results are featured in a content-related manner including subjective-personal experience.
Keywords: Hermeneutic-Phenomenological Research, qualitative research, pre- / post-comparison, Phenomenological Analysis
„AN INNER SAFE PLACE“
DORIS FISCHER-DANZINGER & BARBARA GAWEL
Traumatic experiences that go beyond the limits of the physical, mental, spiritual and processing capacity, lead to a deep existential unsettledness. Confidence into the world, access to former values as well as to oneself and ones abilities are unsettled. Affected people often develop traumatic stress reactions. Therapy tries to help these people to regain more security in their lives. In addition to finding supportive experiences in the world, it has proved to be helpful to imagine an inner place where they can feel safe and secure and where they can come to rest in stressful situations.
After a short theoretical introduction, the demonstration showed the implementation of the imagination of an inner safe place, –adapted to the fundamental existential needs of patients.
Keywords: traumatic experiences, inner safe place, imagination
TRUSTING ONESELF AND THE WORLD AGAIN – EXPERIENCES OF PATIENTS WITH LIFE THREATENING DISEASES IN LSD-SUPPORTED PSYCHOTHERAPY
TORSTEN PASSIE & PETER GASSER
A recently published study showed safety and efficacy of LSD-assisted psychotherapy in patients with anxiety associated with life- threatening diseases. A Qualitative Content Analysis (QCA) was carried out on semi-structured interviews conducted with 10 patients 12 months after finishing LSD-assisted psychotherapy. Participants consistently reported insightful, cathartic and interpersonal experiences, accompanied by a reduction in anxiety and a rise in quality of life. Evaluations of subjective experiences suggest facilitated access to emotions, confrontation of previously unknown anxieties, worries, resources and intense emotional peak experiences à la Maslow as major psychological working mechanisms. The experiences created led to a restructuring of the person’s emotional trust, situational understanding, habits and world view. It can be concluded that LSD administered in a medically supervised psychotherapeutic setting can be safe and generate lasting benefits in patients with a life- threatening disease.
Keywords: psychotherapy, terminal illnesses, LSD-therapy, Psycholysis, Psychodelic Therapy, Psycholytic Therapy
ILLNESS AS A BORDER SITUATION
Reflection of a personal experience
Sometimes illnesses change life so fundamentally, that the people affected get into a border situation in the sense of Jaspers. The extent of the connected existential shock is hardly fathomable from the outside. This renders accompaniment of patients difficult when they try to handle the border situation. For a better understanding of this inner experience I would like to reflect a part of my self-experience concerning some aspects of the border situations of Jaspers.
Keywords: illness, border situation, self-experience
BORDERLINE – TREATING BORDERNCROSSERS
In terms of an embedment into the conference topic, an attempt is made to reproduce borderline experiences of borderline patients in order to render them understandable. The meaning of the (usually) underlying trauma is also illuminated. The clients, and the therapists too, become involved into the roller coaster of feelings and undergo borderline experiences themselves as well. In the sense of a “turning point”, the therapeutic approaches are attributed to two poles: The tools of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy according to M. Linehan are located at the “strict pole”, with their help the framework for therapy is achieved. The “understanding pole” deals with a continuation by means of Personal Existential Analysis and elements of L. Reddemanns Traumatherapy.
Keywords: Borderline Disorder, Traumatherapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (M. Linehan), Personal Existential Analysis (PEA)
WHAT MAKES A GOOD RELATIONSHIP?
Predictors of existential fulfilment in heterosexual romantic relationships
ELENA M. UKOLOVA, VLADIMIR B. SHUMSKIY, EVGENY N. OSIN
The study aimed to explore the predictors of existential fulfilment in close relationship, an operationalization of relationship quality based on A. Längle’s existential analytic approach, using a cross-sectional design. The participants were 309 adults who completed an online questionnaire. We used the Test of Existential Motivations in Relationships, a 36-item instrument measuring the fulfilment of 4 fundamental motivations, together with measures of subjective well-being, positive self-attitude, alienation, and psychopathology, controlling for age, gender, and relationship length. Existential fulfilment in relationships showed theoretically predictable weak to moderate correlations with other study variables. Moderation analysis discovered several effects: 1) subjective happiness was more strongly associated with fulfilment in long-term relationships than in short-term ones, 2) psychopathology, self-understanding, and alienation in relationships were stronger predictors of fulfilment in relationships for older adults than for younger adults, 3) positive attitude towards oneself was associated with fulfilment in relationships for males, but not for females. The attitude towards oneself and alienation indicators remained significant predictors of existential fulfilment in relationships after psychopathology was controlled for. The findings are discussed in the context of existential analytic theory. Longitudinal studies are needed to uncover the underlying causal links, but the present findings support the validity of existential analytic approach to relationship quality.
Keywords: existential fulfilment, fundamental existential motivations, romantic relationships, authenticity, attitude towards oneself, psychopathology.
INCOMPREHENSIBLY STRANGE AND DISTANT… (H. HESSE)
Due to globalisation and social development we can observe an increased demand for counselling of people from different and more or less foreign cultures. The cultural context has great influence on the development of persons and it finds its expression in their language, their identity, their perception and in their opinions.
The intercultural influence has strong implications on the counselling process which makes it necessary to pay attention to cultural effects in these processes.
In the following I want to look at the cultural matrixes and their derived tasks in intercultural, existential counselling and I want to show what kind of skills can assist the consultant in these tasks and how they are related to Existential Analysis.
Keywords: counselling, interculturality, language, perception, phenomenology
PERFECTIONISM IN EARLY ADULTHOOD
High demands in principle, culminating towards perfectionism, currently seem to be widespread. In perfectionism it becomes tight for the person if it turns into a protective shield against critique, into a source of identity or into a substitute of self-worth, because the supposed protection from offence never suffices, gives no security and sufferance is amplified. The article focuses perfectionism of young adults and examines the question as to how to get from pretence, from perfect appearance, to existence, hence to the authentic self.
Keywords: perfectionism, coping reactions, self, identity
BORDER VIOLATING ADOLESCENTS WITH LEARNING DISABILITY
In the following article adolescents with disabilities are introduced, who have been victims to as well as perpetrators with border violating behavior. The tendency to specific features of psychosexual development and of delinquent behavior is pointed out. Finally, the methodological approaches for the sexual educational therapeutic settings are outlined.
Keywords: sexuality, disability, sexual border violation, work with perpetrators
MATURING PROCESS THROUGH SITUATIONAL BLOCKADES IN THE FUNDAMENTAL MOTIVATIONS
A noteworthy dynamic for organizations
The Fundamental Motivations describe how a person can experience life and itself, in a way which motivates its own development and the shaping of its environment. Someone who is moved in this manner basically becomes open to a confrontation with the realities which slow down and hinder motivation. The experience in such blocked situations in fact often conveys a situational shortage, but no pathological disorder, even when experienced as a crisis. It even yields the possibility to grow deeper into one’s own ego-strengthening structures. This maturation through immersion into the basic preconditions of Fundamental Motivations has an active as well as an infeasible side. This is why attention is necessarily drawn towards “letting it happen”.
In organizations existential basic preconditions are needed in order to promote self-responsible commitment in executives and employees. By examining existential deficits due to newly emerging challenges and with the openness for “letting it happen” executives and employees, as well as the corporate culture, matures. This is a special chance for enterprises facing great challenges.
Keywords: Fundamental Motivations, corporate culture, crises, processes of change