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Eshel, O. (2010). Patient–Analyst Interconnectedness: Personal Notes on Close Encounters of a New Dimension. Psychoanal. Inq., 30(2):146-154.

(2010). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 30(2):146-154

Patient–Analyst Interconnectedness: Personal Notes on Close Encounters of a New Dimension

Ofra Eshel, Psy.D.


It is impossible to write about my personal development as a psychotherapist and psychoanalyst in Israel without relating to the powerful impact of the fate of the Jewish people on my family's history and therefore on mine. It is a history interwoven with narratives of loss and survival.

My father was born in Poland, in the vicinity of Warsaw, to a wealthy family. When World War I reached that area, everybody ran for their lives, but my grandfather refused to abandon his lands and possessions. It was not until the very last moment that he decided to flee with his family, leaving his great wealth behind. My grandparents and their five small children made their way to Israel (then Palestine) with the money that my grandfather had managed to take with him, and mainly with the money obtained along the way from selling the jewelry my grandmother had received as a beautiful young bride and wife in this wealthy family. Years later, in my childhood, my grandmother, although a widow of many years, was still mourning the loss of her jewelry that had been sold, and particularly a dearly loved pair of diamond earrings, which had been taken from her and sold for passage on the ship to Israel. When the family finally arrived in Israel, my grandfather again bought up large tracts of land to cultivate. One day, he discovered Arab shepherds and their flocks trespassing on his fields; running towards them shouting, he had a heart attack and died on the spot. My grandmother remained a young widow with five children, and my father, the first son after two daughters, had to drop out of school and go to work in order to help support the family.

[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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