A Dialectical Perspective of Trauma Processing

Brurit Laub, Nomi Weiner


This article presents a dialectical perspective, which attempts to elucidate the integrative components of trauma processing in therapy. It is proposed that the inherent movement toward greater integration is an expanding dialectical movement. It is conceived as a spiral resulting from the synergy of two dialectical movements. The horizontal line moves between the opposite aspects of the individual (thesis vs. antithesis) toward a synthesis. The vertical line moves upward via whole/part shifts toward greater integration, or downward toward disintegration and fragmentation. It is proposed that the complementary processes of differentiation and linking are the building blocks of the integrative/dialectical movement. Differentiation relates to the separation of parts and linking relates to their connection. The role of differentiation and linking in three basic interacting systems of trauma work is discussed. It is proposed that the dialectical principles are applicable to various therapeutic approaches and clinical vignettes are included to illustrate.


dialectical therapy, integrative therapy, mindfulness, dual awareness, trauma processing, EMDR, voice dialogue

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