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Wangh, M. (1994). Journal of Social Work and Policy in Israel. V-Vi (Special Issue), 1992: Child Survivors of the Holocaust Reach Middle Age: Psychotherapy of Late Grief Reactions. Haim Dasberg. Pp. 71-83.. Psychoanal Q., 63:611-611.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Journal of Social Work and Policy in Israel. V-Vi (Special Issue), 1992: Child Survivors of the Holocaust Reach Middle Age: Psychotherapy of Late Grief Reactions. Haim Dasberg. Pp. 71-83.

(1994). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 63:611-611

Journal of Social Work and Policy in Israel. V-Vi (Special Issue), 1992: Child Survivors of the Holocaust Reach Middle Age: Psychotherapy of Late Grief Reactions. Haim Dasberg. Pp. 71-83.

Martin Wangh

The author focuses on those children who, like himself, were hidden during the years of the Shoah by non-Jewish couples, who often proved to be excellent and trustworthy substitute parents. A high percentage of these "hidden children" handle life's ordinary exigencies quite well, but show depressive and neurotic reactions in later life. Dasberg attaches to his article a useful listing of the average life course of these survivors, who often suffer from "identity-crises" similar to those of the children of survivors.

Therapy with these patients deals mainly with the following tasks: 1) to relate themselves to their past, 2) to fill in their missing memories, 3) to re-establish a sense of continuity by reconnecting, and 4) to clarify their hidden sense of grief. Dasberg has found it useful to apply principles from Martin Buber's philosophy. He recommends openness toward the patient and acknowledgment of one's feelings of countertransference. He encourages his patients to research the fate of their parents and siblings, and that of their substitute parents. He seeks to give his patients a sense of continuity (identity). Such work loosens their rage about the imagined "voluntary" abandonment by the parents. Along with this work usually comes an improvement in the patient's life with spouse and children. Dasberg found that in the course of such treatment he could accompany his patients a long way in mobilizing their arrested grief.

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Article Citation

Wangh, M. (1994). Journal of Social Work and Policy in Israel. V-Vi (Special Issue), 1992. Psychoanal. Q., 63:611-611

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