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Fogelman, E. Bass-Wichelhaus, H. (2002). The Role of Group Experiences in the Healing Process of Massive Childhood Holocaust Trauma. J. Appl. Psychoanal. Stud., 4(1):31-47.

(2002). Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 4(1):31-47

The Role of Group Experiences in the Healing Process of Massive Childhood Holocaust Trauma

Eva Fogelman and Helene Bass-Wichelhaus

This paper proposes that Holocaust child survivors profoundly benefit from participating in a variety of group modalities. From participant observation and interviews we demonstrate that affiliation in organizations, social events, commemorations, rituals, and particular therapeutic groups each contributes to the well-being of Holocaust child survivors. Mourning is enhanced by joining forces with others from a historical event that left many children orphans, bereft of a home, a community, a country, and an identity. Group participants achieve individuation and ego integration, and gain clarity about the complex psychological consequences of surviving the Holocaust. A fragmented identity is restored through the opportunity of interacting with others whose identity has been ruptured by similar cataclysmic events.

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