Emmanouel Vantarakis

Emmanuel Vantarakis

Country: Greece
Organization: Hellenic Focusing Center

Short CV

Emmanuel Vantarakis. M.Sc., Psychotherapist, Certifying Coordinator. International Focusing Institute (TIFI).

Heading the Traumatherapy Section at the Hellenic Focusing Center.

Supervisor and trainer in Focusing-Experiential Psychotherapy.

Founding member of the Hellenic Person-Centred and Experiential Society (HAPCEA).

Member of the Hellenic & European Society of Psychotherapy (ECP).

Apart his collaboration with the Hellenic Focusing Center he is working privately in Athens.


Title: The fragmented world of trauma and its voices: Dissociation & Integration

“Polemos (war in Greek) is the father of all”, Heraclitus

Heidegger agreed with Heraclitus by stating that polemos “is the essence of being [as] it gives rise to entities and supports them in a meaningful world”. Da-sein is polemos.

Emmanuel Levinas, also influenced by Heraclitus, declared that “being reveals itself as war.” Polemos is the primordial element of being for facing the ‘Other’.

The origin of the word en-counter is derived from the Latin word contra (against). Accordingly, Peter Schmid has perceived the “en-counter with another person, first of all means, recognizing that the Other really stands opposite, because he or she is essentially different from me”.

“Polemos” and “contrariety” refer to the core of the problem of diversity, polyphony and trauma.

In this existential thrownness (polemos) into the ‘cosmos’ and against the Other, the ego or the structure of the self is always traumatized. Although trauma has a negative impact, it can provide the necessary condition of crack, for the transcendence of the solipsistic ego, leading to the open interaction with the other person.

The traumatic experience, however, in PTSD owing to the self-protective and defensive mechanism of dissociation, it cannot be processed on a physical and symbolic level and remains undigested and fragmented into the psychosomatic organism. Consequently, the vulnerable structure of the self is driven to disorganisation and collapse.

In this workshop, the nature of traumatic human experience is going to be discussed. It will be conveyed by myths, the focusing experiential approach, and the findings of modern neuroscience. Most particularly, we will focus to the how, as therapists, can we hospitalize and unfold, the non-symbolized experiences, that remain in the silence of preverbal experience, as well as to the aspects of the ego that do not have a ‘voice’ yet, as they are in the state of Speechless Terror.