The American Journal of Psychoanalysis

, Volume 69, Issue 4, pp 298–303 | Cite as

Which Horse do You Ride? Trauma from a Relational Perspective. Discussion of Prince's “The Self in Pain: The Paradox of Memory. The Paradox of Testimony”

Special Section


Discussing Dr. Robert Prince's clinical case example, the author presents a relational psychoanalytic perspective on working with the traumatized patient. She considers the presentation of his work with a Holocaust survivor from a relational perspective with particular attention to the dyadic interaction, the intersubjectivity and co-creations of patient and analyst, and finally, addresses the role of the “witness” in psychoanalytic work. The idea of the witness has particular currency in contemporary psychoanalytic thinking. The author briefly examines the dimensions of the “witness” from a relational point of view. Consideration is also given to the necessary distinction between adult onset and childhood onset trauma and the repercussions of each for the analytic couple.


trauma treatment Holocaust relational perspective 


  1. Auerhahn, N.C. & Peskin, H. (2003). Action knowledge, acknowledgement, and interpretive action in work with Holocaust survivors. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 72, 615–659.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Bass, A. (1994). Book review of Shoshana Felman and Dori Laub (1992): Testimony. Crises of Witnessing in Literature, Psychoanalysis, and History. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 63, 146–150.Google Scholar
  3. Boulanger, G. (2007). Wounded by reality: Understanding and treating adult onset trauma. Mahwah, NJ: The Analytic Press.Google Scholar
  4. Bromberg, P.M. (2003). Something wicked this way comes: Trauma dissociation and conflict, the space where psychoanalysis, cognitive science, and neuroscience overlap. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 20, 558–574.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bromberg, P.M. (2006). Awakening the dreamer: Clinical journeys. Mahwah, NJ: The Analytic Press.Google Scholar
  6. Davies, J.M. & Frawley, M.G. (1994). Treating the adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse: A psychoanalytic perspective. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  7. Felman, S. & Laub, D. (1992). Testimony. Crises of witnessing in literature, psychoanalysis, and history. New York/London: Routledge, Chapman and Hall, Inc.Google Scholar
  8. Grand, S. (2007). Maternal surveillance: Disrupting the rhetoric of war. Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society, 12, 305–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Krystal, H. (1988). Integration and self-healing: Affect—trauma—alexithymia. Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press.Google Scholar
  10. Ullman, C. (2006). Bearing witness: Across the barriers in society and in the clinic. Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 16 (2), 181–198.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ABPPNew York

Personalised recommendations