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Adams, M. (2012). Dehumanization, Guilt and Large Group Dynamics with Reference to the West, Israel and the Palestinians. Brit. J. Psychother., 28(2):264.
   

(2012). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 28(2):264

Responses

Dehumanization, Guilt and Large Group Dynamics with Reference to the West, Israel and the Palestinians Related Papers

Mary Adams

Dear Editor

Thank you to Martin Kemp for his thoughtful and important paper (BJP 27(4): 383-406) on ways that we can understand the traumas and dehumanization of Jews and Palestinians. Ongoing discussion of the profound and intergenerational psychological effects of such dehumanization is surely incumbent upon the psychoanalytic community when acts of genocide and discrimination continue in the world. One effect of trauma is to paralyse the ability to think, and in our psychoanalytic work our role is to aid the thinking process, help explore the processes of cause and effect, and facilitate the mourning that plays a critical role in breaking the cycle of repetition compulsion. If we cannot, as a psychoanalytic community, apply this approach in an open discussion of what is happening in Gaza, then there is something very wrong happening.

As Kemp points out, adopting a neutral position can in some situations become a turning a blind eye, blocking thinking and discussion. In this respect, it seems unfortunate that he was required by the BJP to seek ‘ever-more neutral words and phrasings’. It is as though we really do not have faith that our psychoanalytic thinking can lead to a fruitful intercourse and greater understanding.

Mary Adams

British Psychoanalytic Association, London

[mary.adams@btinternet.com]

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