War is an extraordinary event in the life of an individual. Those who experience it are exposed to extreme demands that influence their way of life, leaving very important psychological after-effects that we usually qualify as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). War events, but also separation anxiety among infants and children who had lost, or fear loss, their caregivers, are life experiences known to trigger post-traumatic stress symptoms in the surviving ones.
But why do not all subjects exposed to a major stress event, or even having experienced the same stress situation, suffer secondarily from a state of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? The answer to these questions requires a better understanding of the existing links between psycho trauma, attachment and resilience. This round table intents to analyze/debate these issues by combining psychological research in the field of war psycho traumatic experiences with a conceptual and a clinical approach that will help us to question the war impact from an attachment perspective.
This “new” knowledge may show itself to be of real interest in terms of reinforcement and assisted resilience provided to adults and children exposed to war.
Mario Mikulincer is Professor of Psychology and founding Dean of the Baruch Ivcher School of Psychology at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya in Israel. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Society and the Society for Personality and Social Psychology and was awarded the 2004 Psychology EMET prize for Arts, Science, & Culture. Professor Mikulincer published more than 400 articles and book chapters, two authored books and seven edited books on attachment theory and research, learned helplessness, terror management theory, emotion regulation, trauma and post-traumatic processes, and coping with stressful events.
Daniel Schechter is a child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and developmental neuroscience researcher who is Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Lausanne University Hospital and Faculty of Biology and Medicine, within the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Service, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Grossman School of Medicine at New York University (NYU). He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.
Professor Schechter has research interests in the interaction of attachment, trauma, and related psychopathology such as PTSD and dissociation. His focus is on parenting and parental mentalization, infant and early childhood mental health. And his clinical and research work pays particular attention to the underlying psychobiological mechanisms of the intergenerational transmission of the effects of interpersonal violence on parents and children whether due to child maltreatment, domestic violence, terrorism or war. His current research encompasses the development of a brief manualized Psychotherapy for traumatized parents and their very young children using video-feedback exposure together with colleague Sandra Rusconi Serpa and colleagues in Switzerland and the USA.
Susana Tereno is a Full Professor on Developmental Psychopathology at the Psychology Department of the University de Rouen and a full member of the center of Research on Psychological Functioning and Dysfunctioning (CRFDP, EA 7475). She is also co-director of the Post-Graduation “Attachment: Concepts and therapeutic applications ” at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Paris Cité. Professor Susana Tereno has research interests relate to developmental psychopathology, where she as a considerable experience on the implementation of parent-infant intervention protocols based on the attachment theory. Namely, she coordinated the research project CAPEDP-Attachement, a randomized study evaluating the effects of an early home intervention on attachment security and disorganization in a multi-risk sample of Parisian families. More recently, she invested other research projects related to family intervention protocols that address disorganized attachment, multi-complex trauma in parental or military populations, integrating research inputs from neurophysiology and the biometric assessment of attachment.
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