Julia Vaughan Smith
Soul Breaking:
Traumatised Psyche; Traumatised Soul
This paper explores the territory where notions of soul and spirituality meet theories of psychological trauma. While neuroscience and
neuropsychology can tell us some things about the effects of traumatising relationships on the brain, there is much more to be said. I
will argue that we are only able to render traumatic experience meaningful through metaphor, imagery and bodily experience. I draw
on McGilchrist as well as Hillman’s proposition that " The Soul is less an object of knowledge but a way of knowing”. I consider, how
does relational trauma break the soul? I will argue that a traumatised soul renders us to be lost wanderers in life. Amongst other
things, I will look at how these questions play out in the multigenerational transmission of trauma. I will also make reference to the
value of the constellations approach in accessing pre-verbal and bodily held memory, and to the healing integration process.

Julia Vaughan Smith has been an integrative executive coach and supervisor for over 25 years, during which she has led
professional training programmes for executive and management coaches and supervisors. She is also a psychotherapist and
has been in practice for the last fifteen years. She was a Honorary Fellow, Professional Network University of Exeter Business
School for a number of years. Julia has also had a career as a leadership development practitioner at a national level. In the
1980s she was the Director of Vocational Education and Training for the NHS in England and Wales.

She has been particularly interested in thinking about, and working with, theories of multigenerational transmission of trauma  as
well as early trauma. She draws on constellations therapy methodology develped by Franz Ruppert and Vivian Broughton.  Her
book 'Therapist to Coach' was published in 2005; she is currently writing on 'trauma, leadership and coaching’ and on ‘the
psycho-dynamics of step-families’.  She lives and works in East Devon.
Soul-Searching, Soul-Making & Soul-Breaking:
Neuroscience, Psychotherapy & the Soul
The Limbus Critical Psychotherapy Conference
For further information please contact: Farhad Dalal, Limbus, 1 The Plains, Totnes, Devon TQ9 5DR; Tel: 0778 222 0385 
email conf 'at' limbus 'dot' org 'dot' uk