Psychotraumatology of Images in Gender Dysphoria

Salvatore Settineri1, Fabio Frisone2, Emanuele Maria Merlo2, *
1 Department of Biomedical and Dental sciences and Morphofunctional Imaging, University of Messina, Messina, Italy
2 Department of Cognitive Sciences, Psychology, Educational and Cultural Studies (COSPECS), University of Messina, Messina, Italy

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© 2018 Settineri et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Cognitive Sciences, Psychology, Educational and Cultural Studies (COSPECS), University of Messina, Messina, Italy, Tel: 0039 090 3710722; E-mail:



The study proposes a psychodynamic analysis of the traumatic role of mental images, that can be expressed by many conditions; in phenomenology, the psychic relationship is meant as the relationship between subject and object. The analysis is aimed at understanding how representations are relevant.


Representations are distinguished as the possibility of intrinsic trauma and as inherently deferred in the conflict between sexual-biological identity and gender-psychological identity; our work aims to highlight how internal images affect adaptation processes.


The analysis involves the study of 10 Rorschach protocols of Gender Dysphoria subjects in Male to Female transition; the protocols are analyzed through the studies of N. Raush de Traubenberg, with reference to the Self and Body; a psycho-traumatological and phenomenological analysis of imaginal experiences will be proposed.


From the analysis emerges the presence of Self and Body representations affected by a partial and fragmentary prevalence of contents, the presence of psychotraumatic phenomena associated to the processes of introjection and identification of mental representations.


The knowledge of the presence of affected representations and psycho-traumatological outcomes would be useful for a psychodiagnostic and psychotherapeutic purpose, intended for the implementation of the adaptation process.

Keywords: Gender Dysphoria, Mental images, Psychotraumatology, Traumatic images, Rorschach, Representations.