Elaine Bing worked as a counseling psychologist for many years, exposing her to the many ways in which complex trauma could affect people. This included the trauma surrounding torture. The lack of research on the effects of torture on the torturer led to her dissertation on the topic, forming the basis of her book Unmaking of the Torturer.
In the interview Bing says that she believes this book would appeal to “anyone who has ever been involved in any form of combat”. In answer to the question of why she felt led to write about this topic, she says: “At one point I realised I was seeing a large number of people who’d actually been involved in perpetration.” She mentions that she believes that “the telling of the stories was therapeutic” to the perpetrators.
Bing also speaks about the paintings she created as a means of dealing with the emotions she experienced while working through the contents of Unmaking of the Torturer. Some of these paintings are included in the book.
Watch the interview (with photographs of the paintings):
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- Unmaking of the Torturer by Elaine Bing
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