Identity-oriented Psychotrauma Therapy

Identity-oriented Psychotrauma Therapy (IoPT) is founded on the theories and practice developed by Professor Franz Ruppert over the past 25 years, and articulated in his books, six of which are available in English, with the latest book due out in May 2019, entitled WHO AM I IN A TRAUMATISED AND TRAUMATISING SOCIETY?


IoPT theory is based on a specific understanding of trauma, and psychological splitting as the means of surviving trauma, and in the earliest stages of life the challenge to the child of surviving within the context in which he or she is conceived, gestated and born.


Trauma is a situation that pays no attention to individual identity, and the cost to the child is a loss of self, a loss of identity. This is why we call the work Identity-oriented Psychotrauma Therapy.


There are three unspoken questions that dominate the life of the unborn and newly born child:


Am I wanted?

Am I loved?

Am I safe?


If the answer to any one of these is 'no', this constitutes a trauma for the helpless and utterly dependent child.


The three consequent traumas are:


The Trauma of Identity

The Trauma of Love

The Trauma of Sexuality & Violence, non-protection


In fact these traumas are sequential, in that the trauma of love is the consequence of the trauma of identity, and the trauma of non-protection is the consequence of the trauma of love.


These traumas form the foundation of our life, our ability to grow up with a healthy, stable psyche, or 'I', or not. All later experiences that constitute a trauma are always also a re-stimulation of these early, pre-verbal, pre-memory events.

The child survives the Trauma of Identity by giving up on his healthy identity, his autonomy, in order to have some connection with his mother, without which he cannot survive. He is forced to identify with his mother's wants and needs, where his wants and needs are ignored, mis-interpreted or used as a means of persecution by the mother. This, then, brings the therapeutic question "Who am I?".  And existentially this question is automatically followed by the question "What do I want?",  because in order to know really what I want I must have a reasonable sense of who I am.


The Trauma of Love happens when the connection that the child does manage to maintain with his mother after the Trauma of Identity is not in effect a clear, loving connection, but rather a connection that is painful, unfulfilling, manipulative and persecutory.


We all have a trauma biography, where the original traumas have a major impact on who we become, how we manage later traumatising events, our relationships, our fulfilment of our abilities. All later traumatic experiences have within them the seeds of re-traumatisation of the original trauma. 


The 'Intention Method', developed by Franz Ruppert, offers a way of exploring these issues that is safe, effective and containing.

Some videos of Franz Ruppert talking about trauma

You can find more videos on the topic of IoPT with Vivian Broughton on her website.