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Swartz, S. (2017). Collectively Speaking: The Many Meanings of Naming and Sharing Group Trauma. Psychoanal. Dial., 27(2):156-163.

(2017). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 27(2):156-163

Collectively Speaking: The Many Meanings of Naming and Sharing Group Trauma

Sally Swartz, Ph.D.

This commentary on Kathleen McPhillips’s (this issue) “‘Unbearable Knowledge’” paper looks at implications for theory of the model she uses to analyze collective trauma. While affirming the model’s robustness, it is suggested that it has both theoretical and political ramifications that need to be further spelled out. The commentary ends with several questions regarding the leap from individual to collective trauma. These include the importance of maintaining a steady appreciation of multiplicity, which is foundational to relational psychoanalytic theory; second, the need to appreciate the complexity of dismantling a collective dissociative defense; and finally, the significance of spontaneity in healing.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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