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Psychoanalysis On and Off the Couch

Nov 1, 2023

“The situation was that I went with my husband Danny, who is also a clinical psychologist, and we were  on the team that came and told people when family members were identified and that they had been murdered. There was one time when we went to two kids, telling them that their parents were murdered. We were with them in the room with an aunt and another family member. All of a sudden, I said, “Danny’s father and my father were in the Holocaust, and they also lost their parents. And you know they became happy people and good fathers for us.  And here we are with you now.”  It was like my telling a lullaby - I knew that they hear us and they don't hear us, but I believed that the unconscious can hear me. That's how my personal transgenerational story helped me to help them to believe that a life can become after this disaster.”  M.R.


“And the music in your saying whatever you said was part of what worked there, both the liveliness and something that has a real connection to experiences one can survive from. This is a very unusual kind of intervention for psychoanalysts, and also that it may not fit everyone. There is a match between how can one make use of oneself and go out of one’s skin and one’s routines, i.e. the way I always do whatever I do. Instead,to do something different that is echoing the needs of the person with whom you are in contact.” M.E-G.


Episode Description: We begin by tracing the recent history of those organizations that are dedicated to the premeditated butchery of civilians. Both Merav and Mira share with us their experiences when the sirens went off on Saturday morning October 7th. We follow them as they attend to those who physically survived the mutilation, murder and kidnapping of their family members. Merav, building from her personal family Holocaust history, created a series of guidelines with which to engage those who were overwhelmed. It became a sort of proactive psychoanalytic manual to give structure to and help regain the alpha function of those who are suffering while also recognizing the presence of past traumas in their lives. They share with us their personal experiences, the crucial importance of President Biden's speech and visit, and the vital assistance that all the Israeli psychoanalytic organizations are providing. Central to their personal and professional message is We have survived traumas in the past, and we will survive again this time.


Our Guests: Merav Roth, Ph.D. and Mira Erlich-Ginor, Ph.D., are both members of the Israeli Psychoanalytic Society.


Linked Episodes: 

Episode 110: PCCA (Partners in Confronting Collective Atrocities) and Working with Ukrainian Current Atrocities with Mira Erlich-Ginor


Episode 96: Why Do We Read Books? Literature and Psychoanalysis with Merav Roth, Ph.D.


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