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This section of the website addresses the struggles of patients whose personality is organized around apprehension, chronic shock and dread, as contrasted with sorrow, longing, shame or anger. We expect fear and dread to be the organizing affects of abused patients, but little has been written about disintegrative anxiety in patients without histories of explicit maltreatment. Tracking the trajectory and fallout of unmetabolized chronic shock throughout the lifespan, I hope to open up a new window on the realm of unbearable experience. Chronic shock can stem from chaotic attachment relationships in early life, invasive medical procedures and traumatic accidents in childhood, precocious exposure to parental horror, madness, and malevolence, and many other sources including illness in a sibling or parent.. Gazing through the lenses of developmental psychopathology, neuroscience, interpersonal neurobiology, post-Kleinian theory, relational analysis, and traumatology, the advanced material in these notes assumes basic familiarity with the principles of dissociation and psychodynamic psychotherapy.

Why do so many high functioning patients without overt trauma history or significant character pathology develop dissociative traits, transitory paranoid states, autistic enclaves and vulnerability to disintegration? Why do these patients live in the chill of chronic apprehension, to the detriment of their ability to truly relax into peacefulness, play and the pursuit of profound contentment? How is serial monogamy related to black hole depressions, chronic anxiety and the second skin? These are some of the questions that inspired me to create this website. Here I hope to follow in the traditions of Eigen , Bion, Klein, Tustin, Levine, Ogden, Goodwin, Rothschild, Fosha, Siegel, Cozolino and Mitrani in charting new pathways through the hazards of unbearable experience, always moving us towards the horizon of possibility and infinite hope.



Kathleen Adams, Ph.D.
512- 327-8311
3355 Bee Caves Road # 611
Austin, TX 78746

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