James A. Chu



Average rating: 4.25 · 137 ratings · 7 reviews · 2 distinct worksSimilar authors
Rebuilding Shattered Lives:...

4.27 avg rating — 129 ratings — published 1998 — 10 editions
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Trauma and Sexuality: The E...

3.88 avg rating — 8 ratings — published 2003 — 3 editions
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“Unspeakable feelings need to find expression in words. However... verbalization of very intense feelings may be a difficult task.”
James A. Chu, Rebuilding Shattered Lives: Treating Complex PTSD and Dissociative Disorders

“Self-destructiveness may be a primary form of communication for those who do not yet have ways to tame their excruciating inner conflicts and feelings and who cannot yet turn to others for support.”
James A. Chu, Rebuilding Shattered Lives: Treating Complex PTSD and Dissociative Disorders

“THE RETURN OF THE REPRESSED: RELIVING DISSOCIATED EXPERIENCES

The reexperiencing of previously dissociated traumatic events presents in a variety of complex ways. The central principle is that dissociated experiences often do not remain dormant. Freud's concept of the “repetition compulsion” is enormously helpful in understanding how dissociated events are later reexperienced. In his paper, "Beyond the Pleasure Principle," Freud (1920/ 1955) described how repressed (and dissociated) trauma and instinctual conflicts can become superimposed on current reality. He wrote:

The patient cannot remember the whole of what is repressed in him, and what he cannot remember may be precisely the essential part of it. .. . He is obliged to repeat the repressed material as a contemporary experience instead of remembering it as something in the past. (p. 18)

If one understands repression as the process in which overwhelming experiences are forgotten, distanced, and dissociated, Freud posited that these experiences are likely to recur in the mind and to be reexperienced. He theorized that this "compulsion to repeat" served a need to rework and achieve mastery over the experience and that it perhaps had an underlying biologic basis as well. The most perceptive tenet of Freud’s theory is that previously dissociated events are actually reexperienced as current reality rather than remembered as occurring in the past. Although Freud was discussing the trauma produced by intense intrapsychic conflict, clinical experience has shown that actual traumatic events that have been dissociated are often repeated and reexperienced.”
James A. Chu, Rebuilding Shattered Lives: Treating Complex PTSD and Dissociative Disorders



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