She works at the Counselling Service, Institute of Education, University of London, and in alcohol counselling.
TRAUMA AND CULTURE: ON FREUD'S WRITING ABOUT TRAUMA AND ITS RESONANCES IN CONTEMPORARY CULTURAL DISCOURSE
Article first published online: 17 NOV 2006
British Journal of Psychotherapy
Volume 22, Issue 3, pages 335–345, March 2006
How to Cite
Shinebourne, P. (2006), TRAUMA AND CULTURE: ON FREUD'S WRITING ABOUT TRAUMA AND ITS RESONANCES IN CONTEMPORARY CULTURAL DISCOURSE. British Journal of Psychotherapy, 22: 335–345. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0118.2006.tb00289.x
- Issue published online: 17 NOV 2006
- Article first published online: 17 NOV 2006
ABSTRACT This paper considers Freud's concept of trauma and its resonances in contemporary cultural discourse, focusing on the complex temporality and the unknowable dimension of traumatic experience. The paper traces the shifting emphasis from Freud's initial intent to discover the original traumatic event, towards accepting the indeterminacy of what can be known in this experience. It is suggested that this psychoanalytic understanding of trauma provides a key perspective for considering the problematic issue of representation of‘real’ events in the broader cultural domain. The approach to trauma discussed in this paper offers a framework in which it is possible to allow multiple interpretations and shifting perspectives on events, to stay open to unknowable dimensions, and at the same time to accept the presence of layers from the past. Lastly, the impact of Freud's insights on trauma on historical, literary and cinematic discourse is explored through discussing a few examples in detail.