This is a multi-authored book on the complex subject of psychic trauma as encountered at different stages of the life-cycle, and describes some of the clinical challenges, technical issues and differing theoretical approaches that arise when working with the traumatized individual.The concept of psychic trauma is a complex subject, but one which has more recently gained prominence. This book contains a collection of papers which grew out of a series of talks given by the Psychoanalytic Forum of the British Psychoanalytical Society entitled Trauma Through the Life Cycle. The authors, all highly respected authorities in their fields, give insights into what we mean by psychic trauma, what constitutes a traumatic event, and the psychopathological sequelae to trauma at different stages of life. Judith Trowell and Nick Midgley look at the effects of infantile and childhood traumas. Catalina Bronstein and Sara Flanders, from differing psychoanalytic perspectives consider how childhood traumas can become reactivated in adolescence and colour subsequent developmental situations.

Introduction -- Childhood -- The emotional impact of abusive experiences in childhood, particularly sexual abuse -- “A soul in bondage”: the treatment of an abused latency-age boy -- Adolescence -- Nobody died! trauma in adolescence -- What's so traumatic about adolescence? -- Adulthood -- External danger and internal threat -- The Kraken awakens: the re-emergence of traumatic experiences when defences break down -- Older Age -- Trauma in old age: “passengers, next station is old age—are you ready?” -- Immortality versus mortality: why are the elderly different? -- Trauma and the Couple -- The hidden traumas of the young boarding school child as seen through the lens of adult couple therapy -- Trauma and Society -- A German trauma?: the experience of the Second World War in Germany -- Social trauma -- Trauma in culture and society