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Ullman, C. (2011). Between Denial and Witnessing: Psychoanalysis and Clinical Practice in the Israeli Context. Psychoanal. Perspect., 8(2):179-200.

(2011). Psychoanalytic Perspectives, 8(2):179-200

Between Denial and Witnessing: Psychoanalysis and Clinical Practice in the Israeli Context Related Papers

Chana Ullman, Ph.D.

This paper is intended as an exploration of the dilemmas frequently encountered by the mental health community practicing in the sociopolitical context of ongoing trauma. I will describe a very specific context: the current sociopolitical Israeli context, and the dilemmas encountered by the mental health community in general and the psychoanalytic community in which I am embedded in particular. These dilemmas are related to the question: What does it mean to be in an ethical relationship not only with our patients but also with the larger sociopolitical context in which we function? I will examine this question not as a philosopher nor as a political sociological thinker, but as a member of the mental health community in Israel and as a practicing psychoanalyst.

My title says “the Israeli context.” When preparing for a similar talk I gave in NYC, I was told to change that to “an Israeli context,” since there is not only one context but many. Obvious though this stipulation normally would seem to me, it nevertheless came as a real surprise. I realized that for me, and I assume for many fellow Israelis, there is only one context that counts, and this is that of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and its many manifestations and consequences.

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