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Music Therapy and Social Trauma

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Clinical experience and empirical evidence show, that music therapy can be beneficial to be included in the treatment of social trauma. The chapter that is based on a psychodynamic understanding demonstrates how suffered social trauma, be it obvious or nearly subliminal, can become sound in music. For the analysis of therapeutic scenes within two vignettes, one with a holocaust survivor and one with a former inhabitant of the GDR, the reflection of individual, social and societal functions of music is advised.

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More than a decennium after the reunion of East and West Germany, the psychological sequelae of traumatic experiences of East Germans are still evident. There were not only about 300000 people imprisoned for political reasons in the German Democratic Republic between 1945 and 1989, partly exposed to physical and psychological torture, but also much more people subject of subthreshold traumatic experiences by harassment in public and private life. As a result, under a psychiatric perspective it should be taken into account not only specific post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD), characterized by reliving of the traumata in intrusive flashbacks, avoidance of circumstances associated with the traumatic experiences, and increased psychological sensitivity and arousal, but also specific Adjustment disorders, or cultural shocks: many people of the former GDR had to deal with adjustment difficulties of different types to the new cultural environment after the reunion, which could be characterized as becoming intimate with post-modern Western culture within a process of identity development. This process encloses different phases or stages discussed under psychopathologic and psychodynamic perspective.
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Reviews some of Freud's texts to illustrate scenic understanding. Freud stated that the repressed unconscious results from the separation of object representations from word representations. The author strips the seeming objectivism from this terminology by invoking other of Freud's texts. The object representations are memory traces of nonverbalized interactions; they are precipitates of experienced actions and models for future actions. By participating in a patient's game, a therapist can employ scenic understanding to deal with presented material in an analogy of the interpretation of dreams. Scenic understanding is the road to the unconscious. (17 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Chapter
Seit 1985 hat sich innerhalb der tiefenpsychologischen und analytischen Psychotherapie in Praxis und Theorie sowie beginnend in der Forschung die psychodynamisch-imaginative Traumatherapie (PITT) als ein Verfahren herausgebildet, das heute im deutschsprachigen Raum vielfach bei Patienten mit komplexen posttraumatischen Störungsbildern (▸ Abschn. 2.2.3) eingesetzt wird. PITT entwickelte sich aus den Bedürfnissen der Praxis und erfüllt die Forderung nach einer traumaadaptierten Handhabung psychotherapeutischer Verfahren (Flatten et al., 1998).
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