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Tummala-Narra, P. (2017). Discussion of “Emmy Grant: Immigration as Repetition of Trauma and as Potential Space”: Commentary on Paper by Veronica Csillag. Psychoanal. Dial., 27(4):487-495.

(2017). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 27(4):487-495

Discussion of “Emmy Grant: Immigration as Repetition of Trauma and as Potential Space”: Commentary on Paper by Veronica Csillag

Pratyusha Tummala-Narra, Ph.D.

This commentary is a response to Veronica Csillag’s exploration of the influence of historical and transgenerational trauma on the lives of immigrants, and on the psychoanalytic process (this issue). Dr. Csillag’s paper deepens our understanding of the intrapsychic life of immigrants who have suffered collective trauma pre-migration and continue to suffer from “ghosts” from the past. Her ideas are critical to examining not only the specific traumas incurred in Europe related to the Nazi Holocaust and totalitarian and socialist regimes but also to contemporary traumas related to social identity and position in the United States. In this commentary, I elaborate three primary areas within Dr. Csillag’s contribution: (a) the illusion of choice in traumatic migration, (b) secrecy and privacy, and (c) experience of the outsider and the insider. My discussion underscores the importance of engaging with historical and ongoing trauma in psychoanalytic psychotherapy as a path to healing within individual and collective dimensions.

[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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