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Chapitre D'ouvrage Année : 2016

Making Trauma Visible


The question of psychic trauma first arose in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century in the exchanges between Freud and Breuer. Thus, it was during these prewar years that the initial framework for understanding trauma was outlined. In a text published in 1895, Studies on Hysteria, Freud wrote: ``Psychical trauma\textendash or more precisely the memory of the trauma\textendash acts like a foreign body." He also highlighted the suffering endured by the patient when confronting reminiscences: ``The traumatic memory does not wear away'', adding: ``It must be abreacted." The theory of abreaction came a little later, in 1905, in the text entitled Psychical (Or Mental) Treatment, the mental treatment advocated by Freud being that of a ``treatment (whether of mental or physical disorders)[\ldots ] that uses words, the essential tool of mental treatment''. Freud goes on to evoke the ``magical power'' of words in this respect. His analytical technique as well as his concept of trauma thus gradually came to be defined in the course of these writings, nourished by the discussions he maintained with his main disciples: Ferenczi, Abraham and Jung. \textcopyright The Editor(s) and The Author(s) 2016.


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Dates et versions

hal-03702498 , version 1 (23-06-2022)



Sophie Delaporte. Making Trauma Visible. Traumatic Memories of the Second World War and After, Springer International Publishing, pp.23--46, 2016, 978-3-319-33470-7 978-3-319-33469-1. ⟨10.1007/978-3-319-33470-7_2⟩. ⟨hal-03702498⟩


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