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Ullman, C. (2020). The Hero Transformed: The Dialectics of Heroism and Psychoanalytic Process in Working with Israeli Men. Psychoanal. Inq., 40(7):478-486.

(2020). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 40(7):478-486

The Hero Transformed: The Dialectics of Heroism and Psychoanalytic Process in Working with Israeli Men

Chana Ullman, Ph.D.

This article examines the meaning of the heroic in the Israeli context. I will describe the meaning of the heroic as it appears in my psychoanalytic work with Israeli men. The heroic in this context looms large, it becomes a passion and a mission celebrated at the level of the individual and the social. Myths of heroism sustain hope and agency, as they also help sustain the dissociation from suffering. Heroism appears as an intrapsychic dialectic that may enhance and express vitality and personal agency, as it may also enhance grandiose and persecutory ideals. The heroic is at the same time a powerful social construction intertwined with the idiosyncratic history of the individual. Clinical examples are used to demonstrate the dialectics of heroism in the Israeli context, and the process of transformation of idolization of military heroism in the course of psychoanalytic treatment.

[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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