The mental landscape of trauma
Referring to the evolution of the psychoanalytic conception of trauma the author considers, based on clinical fragments, three questions with which we are confronted in the clinic of trauma. The first fragment about a trauma of incest, which was initially dealt with within the family in a sensitive and appropriate manner, raises the question of the impact of speech on trauma where it concerns laypeople. It can be argued that the consequences of this kind of speech can be equally as disastrous as those of stubborn silence or a prohibition to speak. Using a second fragment attention is drawn to the role of the phantasma. A third fragment illustrates the trans-generational transmission of a trauma. Some considerations concerning the traumatic neuroses and the trauma of birth conclude this paper.