Conflicts in Adjustment

World War II Prisoners of War and Their Families
  • Murray M. Bernstein
Part of the The Plenum Series on Stress and Coping book series (SSSO)


Regardless of its cause, trauma impacts upon the victim’s self-image. Professionals in mental health have identified various patterns of coping with forms of trauma that range from denial of the severity of the event to overcompensation (deWind, 1984; LaCoursierre, Godfrey, & Ruby, 1986; Tanaka, 1988). Various stages of Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have been identified as a function of the types of defenses engaged by the individual (Fairbanks & Nicholson, 1986). For example, loss of control relating to trauma leads to intrusive thoughts and the repetition of traumatic events. A “dominate” continual coping mechanism for trauma has been attributed to denial and emotional numbing. The result for the victim is a state of denial of one aspect of the traumatic event and the experience of intrusive thoughts regarding another aspect of the same event.


Traumatic Event Marital Conflict Intrusive Thought Emotional Numbing Community Service Organization 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Murray M. Bernstein
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Social WorkZablocki Veterans Administration Medical CenterMil­waukeeUSA

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