Type – I and Type – II Trauma Models

August 7th, 2015

Type I Trauma responses relate to a single terrifying event, often shocking or catastrophic, and usually totally unanticipated.

Survivors of these events may suffer a wide array of symptoms, including intense fear, or even dissociation, where the individual’s awareness and ability to engage psychologically in the present is usurped by traumatic material or defenses.

The result for the victim is that the world freezes at the trauma scene, ceasing to unfold in a spontaneous, cohesive way. In its wake, the subject is left in a state of insidious dread.

Multiple factors will influence the recovery process.  Younger persons, for example, are more vulnerable than older persons.  The amount of damage done to the individual, the amount of death or devastation that he or she has witnessed, the extent of exposure to the event, the absence of social supports, or the disruption of the continuity of the individual’s life, may all impact negatively on trauma recovery.

The uniqueness of the psychological trauma that derives from this situation is not in its acute stress symptoms but in its ability to shape (and distort) how the victims think about themselves and the perpetrator

In contrast to Type I Trauma events, where the shock-effect may be catastrophic but short-lived, Type II Traumas are applied frequently within the context of a relationship, and continues for an extended period. The predator in Type II Trauma, may use the fear generated by constant threat as an incentive to ferment political change by creating a culture of intimidation and coercion.

The constant fear of violation, the uncertainty of one’s future, the dislocation from normal social functioning and communal bonding, all constitute the building blocks of the Type II Trauma paradigm.

The methodology involves the application of multitude fear – triggers without the respite required for psychological reconstitution or physiological habituation.

When the environment of continuous fear is leveraged against the seduction of safety in exchange for political capitulation, the paradigm of continuous terror creates an insurmountable temptation for “selling-out” ones previously cherished life-politique.

As the victim’s ego-functions are hijacked by his enemy, his beliefs, emotions and personal belief-schemas are diminished. When the hostage is awarded with the gift of life for acting in concert with the perpetrator, so do the world-views of the perpetrator become more-easily embraced.

Over a period of time, the victim becomes unwittingly conditioned, losing any sense of personal autonomy and self-agency, until finally succumbing to the certainty of personal misfortune.

For certain predators, this loss of any semblance of self (on the part of the victim) appears to be the ultimate prize of conquest.

For the lone psychopath, the sweetness of conquest lies in the total abnegation of the victim`s sense of self, and his subordination to his master.

So damaged is the perpetrator`s sense of self, that he only becomes “something” by creating a mythical ownership of the self (ego) – functions of his victim.

In parallel, at a global level, woe to any culture or religion that requires the eradication of alternative beliefs, in order to prove its authenticity through the elimination of its rival.

Donald Kalsched uses a Jungian model to explain another disturbing finding in the trauma-literature about trauma: with his observation that when the traumatized psyche is freed from external captivity and liberated from the demonic ideologies of their captors, rather than celebrating their release from the belief-systems of their captors, they perpetuate these “negative introjects” (The Inner World of Trauma, 1996, page 5).

“The trauma doesn’t end with the cessation of external threat, but instead continues unabated in the inner world of the trauma victim.”

Victims of child abuse will often perpetuate a repetitious pattern in all subsequent relationships where they continue to re-enact their lives as victims as if they never regained those self-functions that were relinquished during captivity.

This pattern of behavior is mirrored by the turbulent lives perpetuated by adult survivors of parents with Borderline Personality Disorder who take ownership of their parent`s negative projections. Children continue to be held captive by the toxic, distorted belief-systems that were originally internalized to appease their tyrannical masters, (their parents) in order to survive their childhood, but in the process became self-traumatizing.

For some victims of abuse, no matter how much the victim wants to change, something more powerful than the ego continually undermines progress. This corresponds to the clinical research findings of disturbed attachment behaviors i. An example of a “negative introject” is when a rape victim is (and comes to believe) that she the victim “wanted this.”

Such victims lose their sense of faith of ever regaining a sense of personal agency in relations with others. Their interpersonal schemas become distorted into an entrapment of introjections, and they find themselves living within the belief-systems of their captors.

Under conditions of constant intimidation and threat, prior to having a consolidated sense of “self”, some hostages are vulnerable to the disinformation repeatedly imposed on them by their perpetrators.

Such distorted, negative self-beliefs are called “negative introjects”. In contrast to the positive bonding provided by good caretakers, where effective self-soothing function evolves from internalized good self-objects, negative introjects become the inner voice that serves a self-traumatizing function.

When trying to mobilize internal rescue-functions, the voice of the tormentor, who has penetrated the psyche of his victim, becomes that obstructing force constantly reminding the individual that she`ll never succeed.

The Stockholm syndrome constitutes the most extreme example of this spectrum of false and distorted beliefs of trauma-victims who find themselves living within the belief-systems imposed by their captors.

Applying Jung`s model to trauma, Donald Kalsched suggests that “self-functions” have Archetypal origins.

According to this model, Psychic Archetypes are organic representations of templates deeply programmed into the universe by forces whose origins are metaphysical.

Once these traumatogenic agencies are unleashed from their Archetypal origins, they continue to assert their demonic effect on the psyche, without requiring the presence of any persistent threat.

By violating the victim’s psychological boundaries, the predator releases this demonic force. Its lingering metaphysical power, once unleashed, is far more sinister than that of the physical abuser, since it is not confined in time or space. It can neither be contained nor confronted, and as it unleashes other persecutory archetypes, the victim is left without safe-haven within this repetitive trauma complex.

At the macrocosmic level, the task of healing requires an ever-vigilant benevolent presence of global caretaking.

In this context a benevolent superpower caretaker presence is required to neutralize their negative Archetypal rivals which reassures the safety and integrity of all boundaries.

When political guardians straddle on the brink of apathy and self-interest, the ensuing vacuum invites demonic persecutory forces to emerge and assert their demonic effect.

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