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Kogan, I. (1993). Curative Factors in the Psychoanalyses of Holocaust Survivors' Offspring Before and During the Gulf War. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 74:803-814.

(1993). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 74:803-814

Curative Factors in the Psychoanalyses of Holocaust Survivors' Offspring Before and During the Gulf War

Ilany Kogan


In this paper, I have attempted to explore the curative effect of insight and relational factors in the analyses of Holocaust survivors' offspring before and during the Gulf War.

A particular characteristic of children of survivors is their tendency to recreate their parents' experiences in their own life through concretisation. An important analytic goal is to help these patients become aware of the unconscious meaning embedded in their acting out through increased insight, so they will be able to extricate themselves from the need to concretise and verbalise instead.

The impact of the Gulf War on the children of Holocaust survivors was particularly strong. These patients reacted to the existential threat with feelings of impotence and terror, perceiving it as a repetition of the past. Thus, strengthening the ego forces became the focus of treatment during the war period, and this was facilitated by relational factors. Only near the end of the war was it possible to begin working through the regressive transferences evoked by the traumatic situation through increased insight, or to attempt to disentangle the present from the past through interpretation.

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