Conclusion: How Massive Trauma Works

  • C. Fred Alford


Massive trauma works by destroying the “inner other.” Put simply, trauma destroys the ability to talk to oneself about what one is experiencing. The self with whom one talks must be in contact with the external world, so that in talking to oneself, one is engaged in an imaginary conversation with others, as well as participating in the otherness of the world: a world that brings us people and experiences that make life worth living. The psychoanalyst and Holocaust survivor, Dori Laub, calls this inner other the “thou” who will understand. That is not far off.


Holocaust Survivor Real Relationship Internal Object Life Worth Living Human Incompleteness 
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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Fred Alford
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

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