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Psychoanalysis On and Off the Couch

Jun 13, 2021

"In such moments [of shared danger] you work with the present and not the representation. In analysis we work all the time with representation - the transference is a representation, the countertransference is a representation. They are related to our past when such things happened. At these moments it’s not important if the patient goes over their Oedipus or not, if he has a good momma or a bad momma. In this moment I can say to the patient: “Wow, we are going through something both together, try to talk, I will talk and you talk, and we will see what is coming up from that. 


Episode Description: The realities of the recent hostilities between Israel and Hamas challenge familiar conditions for analytic work. The threat of imminent physical danger to both parties in the dyad pervades the clinical setting at such times as it has intermittently for decades. Dr. Gampel describes years of experience integrating the facts of external forces into a treatment process that simultaneously honors internal reality as well. We discuss her work with her analytic colleagues in their study group on this topic called A Wall Falls Down as well as her 30 years of work in Gaza with her Palestinian colleagues. We close with her recounting her family's journey from Lithuania to Argentina and then to Israel. 


Our Guest: Yolanda Gampel, Ph.D., Training Analyst, and past president (1989–1991) of the Israel Psychoanalytic Society; Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology and Program of Advanced Psychotherapy, Sackler Medical School, Tel-Aviv University; Invited Associate Professor, l’Université de Paris Nanterre de 1985-1987 et à l’Université Lumière II en 2001 Lyon 

Dr. Gampel won the Hayman International Prize for Published Work Pertaining to Traumatized Children and Adults, 2001, and the Mary S. Sigourney Award, 2005. 

Dr. Gampel's work has focused on social violence and its impact on development and on the therapeutic process. She has worked with Shoah survivors and South American and Israeli victims of trauma. She has also established a training program in dynamic psychotherapy for Palestinian psychologists in Gaza and participated in the training program organized from the summer of 1993 until 2000 through the auspicious of Tel Aviv University. 


Recommended Readings: 

Yolanda Gampel, The Wounded Passion: The Inner Experience of an Israeli Psychoanalyst bPs 467-477 | Published online: 22 Oct 2020, in INQUIRYSummary: A Moment of Theoretical Focus on Passion, Faith, and Truth. Silence and Bearing Witness, the Riddle of Survival. The Background of the Unheimlich. Events in Israel and Their Effects on Psychotherapeutic Working Trough. 


Yolanda Gampel, The Pain of the Social, Pages 1219-1235 | Published online: 23 Dec 2020 International Journal of Psychoanalysis 


Puget, J., and L. Wender. 1982. “Analista y paciente en mundos superpuestos.” [Analyst and Patient in Overlapping Worlds]. Psicoanálisis 4: 502–503. [Google Scholar] 


Puget, J., and L. Wender. 1987. “Aux Limites de l’analysabiliteTyrannie Corporelle et Sociale.” [At the Limits of Analysability: Physical and Social Tyranny]. Revue Française de Psychanalyse 51 (3): 869–885 


Janine Puget. How Difficult It is to Think About Uncertainty and Perplexity Pages 1236-1247 | Published online: 23 Dec 2020. International Journal of Psychoanalysis