At the Side of Torture Survivors: Treating a Terrible by Sepp Graessner, Norbert Gurris, Christian Pross, Desmond

By Sepp Graessner, Norbert Gurris, Christian Pross, Desmond Tutu, Bahman Nirumand, Dori Laub

Survivors of torture and different human-rights violations from the previous Yugoslavia, Turkey, the center East, Southeast Asia, and different areas require clinical, social, and psychotherapeutic assistance. regrettably, torture survivors frequently meet with silence and disbelief from others―a profound unwillingness to confront the truth in their soreness. The very nature of torture, which destroys the consideration and wellbeing and fitness of its sufferers, frequently makes survivors themselves doubt this truth: therefore, they consider thoroughly by myself and should now not think within the danger of human communication.

Available for the 1st time in English, At the facet of Torture Survivors presents an intimate portrait of the problems dealing with torture survivors and the therapists who try to assist them. Written by way of experts on the Berlin middle for the remedy of Torture sufferers, the booklet covers issues starting from actual rehabilitation to advocacy for these looking asylum and justice. The authors describe worrying aftereffects of torture reminiscent of reminiscence loss, nightmares, and psychosomatic problems, and description healing remedies equivalent to dream treatment and storytelling. all through, the authors rfile their paintings with out hiding the boundaries and screw ups that regularly accompany it. They inform of the trouble of diagnosing torture signs, talk about the issues impeding therapeutically potent touch with torture sufferers, and give some thought to the burdens confronted via therapists themselves.

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Extra info for At the Side of Torture Survivors: Treating a Terrible Assault on Human Dignity

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Psychological changes are time-consuming, like the growth of a plant. As a doctor engaged in psychotherapy, I saw it as my job to see that there was enough soil, water, and warmth for the plant to grow. Images, allegories, and metaphors were things that Mr. I. had always understood quite well. Images were them- Foreign Bodies in the Soul  selves making him suffer. Yet through images, he could also make himself understood and understand himself. But now Mr. I. shook his head, wanting to see me as a surgeon removing a foreign object or an abscess from his head in a quick operation.

But inwardly he also seems to be relieved and to breathe more easily when    I tell him that, in case he wants to continue the therapy, he knows where to find me. Maybe, as we often experience with other patients, Mr. I. simply had the need to take a break on his own accord, because the therapy was getting too dense and too close, and he needed time to move ahead. Or he feared a mental breakdown and couldn’t count on my personality to possess the strength needed for picking him up and piecing him together.

When he is spoken to while in this state of mind, he lashes out, forgetful of himself and his surroundings. His children experience him as someone who is partly unavailable, partly unpredictable and violent. Just like the Serbs. “Papa, please don’t hit me like the Serbs,” pleads the oldest son under his father’s blows. Month-long treatment with psychopharmacological drugs of all kinds and in every conceivable variation brings no change. So Mr. I. comes to us. After the first interview, he is greatly relieved, because he had previously feared that I was a psychiatrist who would treat him with electric and cold-water shocks.

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