Terror in Psychotherapy

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Contemporary neuroscience, infant research, and relational psychotherapy make clear that we are a relational species—that our brain and neurological systems actually organize in the first year of life depending on the relationships that are and are not available. By the second year of life a symbiotic interaction is becoming established characterized by mutual affect regulation and mutual attachment experiences.  Dr. Hedges demonstrates how trauma experienced during these “organizing” and “symbiotic” levels of relational development stimulates fear, anxiety, and terror that have profound consequences for later relationships—and in extreme forms lay the foundation for suicide and homicide. A series of case vignettes illustrate how early relational intrusive trauma produce terror in transference and countertransference experiencing.

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