DATE: Saturday, March 2, 2013
TIME: 12:00 p.m
PLACE: Studio, Lambert Road campus
CANDIDATE: Lisa Roth-Baisden
DISSERTATION TITLE: "The Holocaust Body: Psychosomatic Traces of Genocide"
PROGRAM-TRACK/YEAR: PhD-A; 2006
CHAIR: Dr. Allen Bishop
READER: Dr. Christine Lewis
EXTERNAL READER: Dr. Natalie Rogers
Roth-Baisden, L. (2012). The Holocaust Body: Psychosomatic Traces of Genocide (Doctoral dissertation, Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2012)
This research focused on the psychosomatic expressions of second generation Holocaust survivors as both carrier of and opportunity for healing multigenerational trauma. Interviews of second generation participants were held in a hermeneutical and phenomenological frame that designed to capture the participant’s lived experience of descendant legacy through detailed analysis of their family, personal, and somatic narratives. The Core Conflictual Relational Themes (CCRT) method and the Narrative Forms Index Matrix (NFIM) were used to honor the complexity and dynamic of individual narratives while finding correlations between somatic experiences and silenced genocidal trauma.
All five of the second generation participants garnered insight of their legacy through experience of embodied symptom and sensation. Participants were asked, “Where is the Holocaust located in your body?” to varied responses, two of which were the same. Though not conclusive participant responses were indicative of somatic holding from survivor parents.
Unacknowledged or ignored psychosomatic responses fostered continued assimilation or playing out of traumatic legacy. All participants in connecting to their somatic experiences found insight into their own healing that was in direct relationship to greater connection to the body.
The wealth of information garnered through acknowledged embedded trauma demands further exploration in the field of depth psychology. Through conscious awareness of somatic responses, illness, and sensation ¬ the voice of body’s experience ¬ can be heard and carried forward into imaging, movement, and insight into the unconscious. As in dream, the body carries its own method of discourse specific to every individual. The body’s symbols are carried through aches and pains, its archetypes in dis-ease and disease. If we can begin to learn its language in movement, gesture, breath, and bone we could begin to further unravel transgenerational trauma’s hold on the descendants who continue to carry the burden.>
Keywords: Somatic, Transgenerational, Trauma, Genocide.Please note: All oral defense attendees must shuttle from the Best Western Hotel in Carpinteria.