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A Psychoanalytic and Socio-Cultural Exploration of a Continent: Europe on the Couch
Edited by Anna Zajenkowska and Uri Levin
Routledge / Softcover / Nov 2019
9780367182779 (ISBN-10: 0367182777)
Psychoanalysis and Culture / Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
reg price: $70.50 our price: $ 66.98 (may be subject to change)
208 pages
Not in Stock, usually ships in 3-4 weeks

This important book gathers a set of influential international contributors with psychoanalytic and group analytic knowledge to provide a wide-ranging critical analysis of the present state of Europe.

Europe is facing huge challenges: waves of immigrants are reshaping its identity and testing its tolerance; Brexit is a destabilizing factor and its outcomes are not yet clear; economic crises continue to threaten; the resurgence of nationalism is threatening an open-borders one-continent ideology. This book tackles some of these challenges. Divided into two parts, the first analyses the current social, political, cultural and economic trends in Europe using psychoanalytic and group analytic concepts, while the second concentrates on existing applications of psychoanalytic and group analytic concepts to help manage national and international change in individual countries as well as on the continent as a whole, including groups for German, Ukrainian and Russian participants; groups organised in Serbia in order to overcome the recent, traumatic past; and the "Sandwich model", developed to enhance communication in situations of conflict, trauma and blocked communication. When we feel threatened, we cling to our in-group and its members. We want to think the same and be the same as our neighbors, but this group illusion of homogeneity conceals the fact that we are different. While homogeneity offers stability, it is diversity that offers freedom.

This book will be of great interest to researchers on the present state of Europe from across a range of different disciplines, from psychoanalysis to politics, sociology, economics and international relations.


"A Psychoanalytic and Socio-Cultural Exploration of a Continent provides a deep understanding of what is now happening in Europe, including growing national-fascist movements, the influence of modern globalization, current refugee problems and the impact of past historical events. This timely book clearly illustrates the intertwining of external and internal worlds of individuals and shows us how shared psychological elements give directions to societal and political movements." --Vamik D. Volkan, MD, Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry, University of Virginia, author, Enemies on the Couch: A Psychopolitical Journey Through War and Peace

"Drawing on the work of several schools of thought, the authors of these deeply felt contributions have been inspired by their experiences both on the couch and in the circle. This imaginative and provocative use of hypotheses from psychoanalysis and group analysis helps us to understand more deeply and confront more fully the central political project of the Western world today: the continuing civilisation of Europe in response to the regressive attacks upon it. Our leaders would benefit from the insights into the unconscious dynamics of persons and their groupings that are so well elaborated in this European book." --Earl Hopper, PhD, psychoanalyst, group analyst and organisational consultant in private practice in London, editor, New International Library of Group Analysis

"This rich and thoughtful book will reward its readers well, be they clinicians, historians, commentators, or, can we hope, our political leaders. A Psychoanalytic and Socio-Cultural Exploration of a Continent, provides incisive understanding of the conscious and unconscious group psychological forces that inflame much of the psychological, sociocultural and political upheaval the world is experiencing today." --Molyn Leszcz, MD, FRCPC, CGP, DFAGPA, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, President-Elect, the American Group Psychotherapy Association

Table of Contents

Foreword by Morris Nitsun


Europe on the couch: the breaking of a homogeneous group illusion, Anna Zajenkowska and Uri Levin

Part One: General reflections

Aleida Assmann - Learning from history? The crisis and future of the European Project
Maria Eugenia Cid Rodriguez - A way of seeing some effects of globalisation and new technologies in Europe
Marianna Fotaki - Relationality in the age of neoliberal dispossession: protecting the "other"
Anna Zajenkowska and Uri Levin - My Europe: a continent between rejection and re-inclusion: a discussion with Dr. Robi Friedman
Part Two: Particular understanding

Haim Weinberg - The image of Europe in the social unconscious of Israeli Jews
Ziad Abou Saleh and Bogdan de Barbaro - Poland and the other - the other and Poland: a dialogue between a newcomer and a native
Regine Scholz - The German "Welcoming Culture" - some thoughts about its psychodynamics
Thor Kristian Island - Norway: between grandiosity and inferiority
Halina Brunning and Olya Khaleelee - Far from the madding crowd: pre to post Brexit Britain
Shmuel Bernstein - Will Brexit brake the EU?
Part Three: Practical interventions

M. Gerard Fromm - National nightmare: thoughts on the genesis and legacy of perpetrator trauma
Katarzyna Prot-Klinger and Krzysztof Szwajca - Social memory of the Holocaust in Poland
Marie-Luise Alder and Stephan Alder - Negotiation between three ambivalently connected nations: finding common ground through metaphors in multinational large group sessions
Marina Mojovic - The Balkans on the Reflective-Citizens couch unraveling social-psychic-retreats
Gila Ofer - Europe on the couch in Social Dreaming Matrices

About the Editors:

Anna Zajenkowska, PhD, is Adjunct Professor and manages the Department of Social Psychology and Doctoral School of the Maria Grzegorzewska Pedagogical University in Warsaw. She is a trained group analyst and board member of the IGAR (Institute of Group Analysis RASZTÓW). She has previously studied and worked in corporations in Austria, Korea and Poland.

Uri Levin is a clinical psychologist, group analyst and organizational consultant. He is a board member of the EFPP (European Federation of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy). He teaches at the Tel Aviv University and supervises both in individual and group settings. He works mainly at his private practice in Tel Aviv with adults and adolescents.

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