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如何在工作中应对精神创伤?

 When Julio Harari’s son was suffering from cancer and became upset about his hair falling out after chemotherapy, the banker from Buenos Aires shaved his own head. He went to work the next day shorn of hair, to the puzzled reaction of colleagues.
当胡利奥?阿拉里(Julio Harari,见文首照片)患了癌症的儿子因化疗脱发而心情沮丧时,这位来自布宜诺斯艾利斯的银行家也剃光了自己的头发。他第二天光头上班的样子让同事们感到困惑。
Mr Harari describes his experience: “They tell you that your son is sick and you freeze. Then you get results from the next test, and you freeze again. You start thinking about what life is going to be like without your son, and you freeze. But you have to carry on, there are others in the family and other responsibilities as well.”
阿拉里讲述了自己的经历:“他们告诉你,你的儿子病了,你吓呆了。然后你拿到了下一次化验的结果,再次吓呆了。你开始想象没了儿子的生活会变成什么样,你又吓呆了。但你必须坚持下去,家中还有其他成员,还有其他责任。”
Although Mr Harari was traumatised by his son’s cancer, he was also able to put his feelings aside in this show of support for his son, who died in 2015 at the age of 24.
虽然阿拉里因儿子患癌受到了创伤,但他在精神上还是能够挺住——剃光头表示对儿子的支持。他的儿子在2015年去世,年仅24岁。
Trauma is an emotional and physical response to an unbearable event, such as bereavement, war, physical attack or abuse. The mind often rushes to protect the person, by numbing them from overwhelmingly painful feelings of grief, helplessness, rage and collapse.
精神创伤是对无法忍受的事件——如丧失亲人、战争、身体攻击或虐待——的一种情感和生理反应。大脑通常会迅速作出反应以保护个人,让他们对极度痛苦的悲伤、无助、愤怒和崩溃感到麻木。
People who have suffered trauma carry it with them, often unknowingly, wherever they go, including the office. Work can either help recovery or be the place where trauma is reignited. Much depends on the person’s early experiences, as well as their organisation’s culture.
遭受精神创伤的人经常毫不自知地将创伤带到自己行至的所有地方,包括办公室。工作既能够帮助一个人从创伤中恢复,也可以重新点燃创伤。这在很大程度上取决于当事人早年的经历以及所处组织的文化。
For Mr Harari, who is an associate director of an international private bank and in charge of a team of five specialists, work was a helpful distraction. “If you’re only thinking about the chemo, life is very miserable,” he says. “But if you also have [work] you can carry on breathing.”
阿拉里是一家国际私人银行的副董事,负责一个由5名专家组成的团队,对他而言,工作是一种有效的转移注意力的方式。“如果你脑子里只想着化疗,生活非常痛苦,”他说,“但如果你还要(工作),你可以不让自己窒息。”
During his son’s illness, it was important for Mr Harari to acknowledge that he would not be able to keep up the usual pace at work. This helped him to be realistic about what he could achieve. He also came to realise that he could only help his son by being by his side.
阿拉里承认在儿子患病期间自己无法保持正常的工作节奏,这一点很重要。这帮助他以现实态度看待自己能取得的业绩。他也意识到,自己能给儿子的帮助只有陪伴在他身边。
“I knew I would always run behind the curve. And I learnt that I could hug my son, but I could not cure him.”
“我知道自己只能与时间赛跑。我知道,我只能拥抱他,但无法治愈他。”
Returning to work
返回工作岗位
After his son’s death, work provided a form of respite from his pain and grief. “He passed away on a Sunday night, and Thursday I was back working,” says Mr Harari. “Some people asked how could I do that and I said, ‘It keeps me alive’. I had to compartmentalise [my feelings] otherwise the pain would freeze me.”
儿子去世后,工作成为他缓解痛苦和悲伤的方式。“他是一个周日晚上走的,周四我就回来工作了,”阿拉里说,“有人问我为何这样着急,我说,‘工作支撑着我’。我必须把(自己的情感)分隔开,否则痛苦会让我痛不欲生。”
“Compartmentalisation” — splitting off conflicting feelings — is a common reaction, and one of many defences the mind employs to protect individuals from extreme feelings. Such defences are normal, and only become harmful if they distort reality too far.
“隔离”——将矛盾的情绪分隔开——是一种常见的反应,也是大脑用来保护个人不受极端情绪影响的防御手段之一。这样的防御是正常的,只有当过度扭曲现实时,才会变得有害。
Mr Harari was fortunate to have the emotional stability not to be overcome by feelings of helplessness and despair during his son’s illness. That stemmed from a healthy and supportive early family life.
幸运的是,在儿子生病期间,阿拉里的情绪稳定没有被无助和绝望的情绪击溃。这源于其健康的、总是得到支持的早年家庭生活。
For others, however, experiences in early family life such as deprivation, neglect or abuse can affect the nervous system, making subsequent setbacks harder to bear.
然而,对其他一些人来说,早年的家庭生活经历,如被剥夺、被忽视或被虐待,会影响神经系统,使他们更难以忍受后来遭遇的挫折。
Persistent unhappiness
持久不悦
For such people, even ordinary work disappointments, such as missing a promotion or being treated unfairly, can reactivate early traumas, leaving the person with incomprehensible and overwhelming feelings. The process is described in The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk.
对此类人而言,即便是工作中的普通挫折,如错过升职或遭到不公平对待,就能够重新激活早期的创伤,让其陷入难以理解和难以抗拒的情绪中。贝塞尔?范德科尔克(Bessel van der Kolk)的《身体从未忘记:心理创伤疗愈中的大脑、心智和身体》(The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma)一书描写了这一过程。
For these individuals, an anticipation of danger persists — frequently where none exists — putting them in a hyper-vigilant state and often reacting irrationally.
对这些个人来说,对危险的预期持续存在(而实际上往往不存在危险),使他们处于极度警觉的状态,而且经常做出不理智的反应。
Such employees avoid close relationships at work because intimacy often provokes strong feelings, which give rise to traumatic memories, says Julia Vaughan Smith, a psychotherapist and executive coach specialising in trauma. Instead they may become needy, compliant or even narcissistic.
心理治疗师、专门治疗创伤的行政教练朱莉娅?沃恩?史密斯(Julia Vaughan Smith)表示,这样的员工会避免在工作中产生亲密关系,因为亲密往往会激起强烈的情绪,后者会引起创伤性记忆。相反,他们可能变得缺乏安全感、顺从,甚至自恋。
Ms Vaughan Smith explains: “They can be close in a superficial or detached way in which they have a pseudo independence: ‘I don’t need any help I’m quite all right on my own’.”
沃恩?史密斯解释道:“他们可以与人保持一种肤浅或超然的接近,使他们有一种独立的假相:‘我不需要任何帮助,我自己过得非常好’。”
如何在工作中应对精神创伤.jpg
Such people fear being out of control and helpless. They control themselves, their work and others in an attempt to keep the parameters of their lives held firmly, so they are not taken by surprise. Their energy is consumed with strategies to avoid the traumatic memory, and vitality is lost. Exhaustion sets in because they are constantly under stress.
此类人害怕失去控制和无助。他们控制自身、自己的工作和他人,试图牢牢控制住自己生活的参数,以使自己不遭遇意外。他们的精力被消耗在想办法避免创伤回忆,失去了活力。因为他们一直处于压力之下,所以总是感到精疲力竭。

——石家庄翻译公司

 

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