Trauma and the Human Condition
"Why....? ...because being here amounts to so much,
because all this Here and Now, so fleeting, seems to
require us and strangely concerns us. US, the most
fleeting of all..."
Rainer Maria Rilke, "The Ninth Elegy"
Among the major consequences of trauma are dissociation, chronic pain, existential despair, and a profound sense of alienation. These "broken connections" represent a fragmentation in the relationship to self, to others and to the larger matrix supportive of human life. This is similar to what Martin Buber called "...a wound in the order of being". Within these patterns of fragmentation one can find somatically encoded emotional and behavioral stress patterns that emerge over time throughout the physical body.
The educational, research and treatment programs developed by ACST-International are based upon the recognition that the psychophysiological manifestations of trauma are directly reflected in the behavior of humans as social beings, throughout the life cycle. In this respect, our work emphasizes the contextual impact of trauma, not only on the individual but upon those in relationship to traumatized people, as well as the larger field of local, national and global community.
Over twenty years of experience in the study, treatment and teaching of trauma work, as well as graduate studies in humanities, history and art led Anngwyn St. Just, to a developing perspective within which trauma is understood as integral to the human condition. Humanistic studies and attention to history, as well as current events, reveals that the kind of overwhelming events, that we experience as ‘traumatic’ in individual, community, national and international life have always been with us in one form or another. "Trauma and the Human Condition" offers a systemic, generational and cultural perspective as well as the exploration of liabilities and potentials in the range of responses of the human nervous system to overwhelming life events. Therein lies the mystery, the adventure and the art of our work.