The after-effects of trauma reach deep into the heart of all our lives - not just
of those who have suffered severe or early trauma, but also in the lives of all
those who live alongside those most troubled, and who must try to cope, or help.
But the human capacity for trauma is also an intrinsic part of our nature. A growing
understanding of the nature of trauma is becoming, we argue, the touchstone issue
for the understanding of ourselves - of our make up, as human beings.
To fully understand trauma, and the effects of trauma, involves understanding the
science - medicine, epidemiology, neuro-science, psychology, social science and
systems thinking in particular. We argue for a comprehensive “natural history” of
trauma, in all its aspects and stages, crossing all disciplines.
But more especially, a full understanding of the nature and course of psychological
and emotional trauma involves recognising the lived experience of those who have
experienced trauma; and also of those who are working with individuals whose current
problems betray histories - some times long and complex histories - of past trauma.
The central subject and issue for this web site is the rapidly evolving understanding
of trauma - psychological and emotional trauma - and of the pervasive role and impact
In particular, we are interested here in the phenomenon now becoming known as “complex
trauma” - or “compound trauma” - which results from a build-up of traumatising experiences,
which are then replicated and re-enacted in present day relationships.
Much of the content of this web site is covered in a recent paperback book:
“Complex Trauma and its effects: perspectives on creating an environment for recovery”
edited by Robin Johnson and Rex Haigh, and published in March 2012 by Pavilion Publishing,
Brighton, UK (for details see Top Right column).
For full publication details of The Book, click here
This web site can therefore be seen as the companion site to the book, extending
the content and scope of the original book, in ways that only the web can do. (To
save constant duplication, this book is generally referred to on these pages simply
as “The Book”. )
To that extent, this web site straddles the traditional world of the book - and for
students, the reading list - and the web. The site itself then becomes a portal for
further, and on-going, exploration of these issues.