In a world dominated by conflicts that rapidly turn into wars, this book presents a multi-faceted perspective on conflicts and their resolution that is applicable to individuals, groups and society.
The book is a compilation of papers by different authors, among them Vamik Volkan, Robi Friedman, Haim Weinberg, and Michael Bucholz, with a foreword by Earl Hopper and an introduction by Gila Ofer, both editor and contributor. While most of the writers are group analysts, working in the tradition of Foulkes, several others come from different though complementary perspectives, enriching the theoretical basis of the research. So, there are perspectives, inter alia, from Bion and Cortesao. The writers represent different countries and cultures, focusing on problems that are endemic to their own localities that yet have a wider and deeper resonance. We are introduced to conflict and division in Bedouin society, the Roma people living in Greece, citizens’ reflective communities in Serbia, continuing territorial and ideological differences in Israel and the middle-east, and tensions of difference in the psychoanalytic community itself.
The book throws light on some of society’s most intractable problems, generating compassion and understanding in place of hatred and division. If we have mostly become wary of hope and optimism in an embattled world, the message that reconciliation and forgiveness are possible, and that there are practical steps to achieving this, rather than idle dreams, makes this an important book with relevance to all those trying to make sense of present times and finding their role as responsible citizens.
"In a fractious time, Gila Ofer has responded with a book that offers hope, direction and much-needed wisdom in addressing the manifest and unconscious forces that contribute to conflict, destruction, reconciliation and repair. Those who think and write about the experience of the mind, of self, and of other, have much to contribute to the seminal reflection our societies require to create generative solutions to complex challenges. The international panel of experts writing in this book, many with lived experience of state and political conflict, offers a rich and deeply textured resource to our field."
- Molyn Leszcz, Professor and Vice Chair Clinical, University of Toronto Department of Psychiatry, and Psychiatrist-in-Chief at Sinai Health System, Toronto
"In a world dominated by conflicts that very often turn into wars, this book presents a multi-faceted perspective on conflicts and their resolution, which is applicable to individuals, groups and society. The contributors throw light on some of society’s most intractable problems, generating compassion and understanding in place of hatred and division. If we have perhaps become wary of hope and optimism in an embattled world, the message that reconciliation and forgiveness are possible rather than idle dreams, and that there are practical steps to achieving this, makes this an important book with relevance to all those trying to make sense of present times and finding their role as responsible citizens."
- Morris Nitsun, consultant clinical psychologist in group psychotherapy in Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust, a training group analyst at the Institute of Group Analysis , and author of Beyond the Anti-Group: Survival and Transformation
"This is a major addition to the theory and practice of group therapy and applied group work on conflicts and reconciliations in groups and societies. Group analysis, which twists and stretches among the three pillars of psychoanalysis, sociology and group dynamics like a Mobius strip, is presented here as versatile appreciation of the systemic relations among these three revolutionary disciplines. Even if this is a profoundly complex and challenging project, the vision of group analysis which this book offers is an impressive one."
- Ulrich Schultz-Venrath, professor of psychosomatics and psychotherapy, University of Witten/Herdecke, Germany
Table of Contents:
About the Editor and Contributors
Series Editor’s Foreword—Anne-Marie Schloesser
Introduction: A bridge over troubled water: conflicts and reconciliation in groups and society—Gila Ofer
Part I: Between the Social and the Psyche
1) Large-group trauma at the hands of the “other”, transgenerational transmissions, and chosen traumas—Vamik D. Volkan
2) Group analysis on war and peace—John R. Schlapobersky
Part II: Processes of Building an Interpersonal Bridge in the Group
3) Forgiving and non-forgiving in group analysis—Gila Ofer
4) Conciliation and comfort: group work with Bedouin grandmothers—Smadar Ben-Asher and Wisam Maree
5) Dealing with conflicts, rage, anger, and aggression in group analysis—Isaura Manso Neto and Mario David
Part III: The Social and the Group
6) Conflicts and social transference in groups—Klimis Navridis
7) “Untouchable infant gangs” in group and social matrices as obstacles to reconciliation—Marina Mojovic
8) The social unconscious and issues of conflict and reconciliation in therapy—Haim Weinberg
Part IV: Processes of Reconciliation in Inter-Groups
9) Us and them: an object relations approach to understanding the dynamics of inter-groups conflicts—Uri Levin
10) Enemies’ love story: reconciliation in the presence of foes—Robi Friedman
11) Lines of conflict in psychoanalysis: reconciliation in the future?—Michael B. Buchholz
12) Psychoanalytic approaches to conflict resolution: the limits of intersubjective engagement—Shlomit Yadlin-Gadot
About the Editor:
Gila Ofer is a training psychoanalyst and group analyst, a founding member and past president of the Tel-Aviv Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis, and a founding member of the Israeli Institute of Group Analysis. She supervises and teaches at the Post-Graduate School for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Tel-Aviv University, and was chair of the group section and board member of the EFPP. Currently she is the editor of the EFPP Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Review and the coordinator of Eastern European countries EFPP; she has published her work in leading journals.