Unsettling trauma: from individual pathology to socialpathology


Lannamann JW, McNamee S. Unsettling trauma: from individual pathology to socialpathology. Journal of Family Therapy. 2020;42 :328-346.


Rather than assuming that psychological terms mirror natural categories in
the world and that the task of the helping professions is to find ways to discover,
diagnose and treat these categories, our goal is to inquire about the
status of the categories as an aid to then focusing on therapeutic responses.
To that end, we unsettle trauma by exploring its social ontology as a disorder
as well as its grammar. Feminist and cultural critiques of PTSD illustrate
the limitations of the dominant discourse of trauma, moving trauma from
individual pathology to social pathology. We offer two illustrations from the
family therapy literature that draw upon polyphony, inner dialogues and
the creation of new narratives to expand beyond the pathologising potentials
of the discourse of trauma.

Last updated on 11/04/2020