The Transgenerational Impact of Cultural Trauma: Linking Phenomena in Treatment of Third Generation Survivors of the Holocaust
Topics: Main Topic: Holocaust and Memorial, Trauma, Holocaust Survivors: Children of, Psychotherapy / Psychoanalysis
Abstract: The long‐term impact of the Holocaust is considered with reference to material presented in the case histories of patients treated in an NHS psychotherapy department (West Berkshire). The treatment of three third generation survivors of the Holocaust is described. Insofar as it is only recently that third generation phenomena are emerging, the clinical work is experimental. In the spirit of a greater consideration of the interlace between psychoanalysis and cultural trauma (Hunter Brown 1992), this paper examines the relationship between the magnitude of a cultural trauma (and its resonance) and the time it takes for the trauma to be worked through. The implications for the treatment of survivors of other cultural atrocities, for example, the Hungerford massacre and Dunblane, are considered. A provisional psychodynamic diagnostic axiom is proposed by the authors, and it is hoped that this may be useful for other clinicians.
The Other Side of the Abyss: A Psychodynamic Approach to Working with Groups of People Who Came to England as Children on the Kindertransporte
Topics: Main Topic: Holocaust and Memorial, Holocaust Survivors, Psychotherapy / Psychoanalysis, Children
Abstract: This paper focuses on the psychological experience of children who were separated from their parents because they sent them to England to save their lives from the impending Holocaust in continental Europe. The parents of these children expressed their love and concern to ensure their offspring's survival through the self‐sacrificial act of parting with them. What they could not prevent were the traumatic effects of this separation and its sequellae. Drawing on clinical material of former Kindertransportees as adults from her private practice and group work with a colleague, Ruth Barnett offers an understanding of the psychic journey that was imposed on these children by the deliberately inflicted atrocities to which their families and communities were subjected in the name of genocide and for the purpose of ‘ethnic cleansing’. She hopes this may be of some value to therapists working with the victims of similar attempts at ‘ethnic cleansing’ such as perpetrated in Rwanda and Bosnia.
Inheritence: Jewish Identity and the Legacy of the Holocaust Mediated Through Art Psychotherapy Groups
Topics: Main Topic: Holocaust and Memorial, Holocaust, Holocaust Survivors, Holocaust Survivors: Children of, Psychotherapy / Psychoanalysis, Jewish Identity
Abstract: This paper is offered with the aim of alerting practitioners to the implications of the Holocaust in the experiences of Jewish clients who may themselves be unaware of its significance. Many Jewish people who come for psychotherapy today were not necessarily, nor apparently, directly affected by the Holocaust and yet they carry the inter generational scars. Beginning with my own personal experience, as well as the insight I have gained from conducting analytical art psychotherapy groups on Jewish identity, I will show how subtle and pervasive is the legacy of the Holocaust. The paper is based in Jewish experience but there are implications for work with refugees and immigrants from many other current situations. Discussion includes consideration of some of the psychological affects of anti‐semitism. The intention is to draw attention to issues which may not be immediately apparent when people first come for analysis or psychotherapy.