Clinical Social Work Journal

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 5–10 | Cite as

Blues and Emotional Trauma

Original Paper


The process of bringing the visceral, bodily aspect of emotional experience into language plays a vital role in the working through of painful emotional states. Such visceral-linguistic unities are achieved in a dialogue of emotional understanding, and it is in such dialogue that experiences of emotional trauma can be held and transformed into endurable and namable painful feelings. The blues is a wonderful example of such dialogue. In the unifying experience of the blues, songwriter, performers, and listeners are joined in a visceral-linguistic conversation in which universally traumatizing aspects of human existence can be communally held and borne.


Blues Emotional trauma Emotional understanding Existential vulnerability Slavery 


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Copyright information

© copyright held by wiley 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Contemporary PsychoanalysisLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Santa MonicaUSA
  3. 3.The JazzschoolBerkeleyUSA

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