Emotional Abuse and Other Psychic Harms: Invisible Wounds and Their Histories (BOK)
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Marion Allsopp maps the emergence of a powerful psycho-social idea out of its historical and social circumstances, as the concept of injury or trauma has moved, over the twentieth century, from the description of a physical, visible lesion to a more abstract, psychic harm - often thought of as an 'invisible wound'. She looks at examples of this 'inward turn' in different academic, professional and administrative contexts in the Anglophone world: US psychiatry; UK tort law; Child Protection and the psychological/psychotherapeutic world of attachment theory, both of which span the Atlantic. How have 'psy' academics and professionals, with all their varied theories and techniques of intervention, contributed to the making of new ideas about an injured inner space? How have they explored the psychic interior; what are the emerging fields of knowledge and political conditions which facilitated the growth of this problem category of psychic harm, creating new claims to injury and new forms of state and non-state power? This mapping is not a description of a march towards some inexorable truth. On the contrary, by showing the ideas ' historical or contingent nature, it questions the inevitability of our 21st century present, in which the concept of psychological harm is so pervasive and taken for granted.