chapter  Four
44 Pages

Confusion of tongues theory of childhood sexual trauma

ByArnold W. Rachman, Susan A. Klett

The "Confusion of tongues" paper was a significant departure from the Freudian theory and technique of psychoanalysis that had become institutionalized by the 1930s. Sigmund Freud may have continued to believe in the actual occurrence of childhood seduction, but it is clear that his oedipal theory became the construct for neurosis. Freud brought personal issues to the controversy about the study of treatment of the trauma disorder. One of the most significant was Freud's own childhood sexual trauma. There was a difference between Freud and Sandor Ferenczi in the way they confronted their childhood sexual trauma as adults. A series of psychological mechanisms develop that enable the child to cope with the incest trauma. The confusion of tongues paradigm provides a theoretical understanding of trauma and emotional disorder, such as in historical and contemporary relationships where a disparity of language, communication, and disturbed relationships produce trauma.