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Having A Life by Lewis A. Kirshner

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4 Trauma, Depression, and the Sense of Existence

Is it any wonder that I don't exist?

—Ms. G

IN THIS CHAPTER, I PRESENT CLINICAL MATERIAL FROM TWO ANALYSES TO elaborate on the theoretical issues I have described previously and to develop the relationship between disturbances of the sense of self-cohesion and traumatic experience. To introduce them, I first take up additional elements of the Lacanian theory of trauma and compare them with some contemporary approaches, using principally the work of Phillip Bromberg, which most lucidly articulates a model of therapeutic action similar to my own. Because histories of trauma and states of depression are frequent (though not constant) accompaniments of complaints of "not having a life," in what follows ...

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