1st Edition

Trauma, Flight and Migration Psychoanalytic Perspectives

    256 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    256 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book brings together leading international psychoanalysts to discuss what psychoanalysis can offer to people who have experienced trauma, flight, and migration.

    The four parts of the book cover several elements of this work, including psychoanalytic projects beyond the couch, and collaboration with the UN. Each chapter presents an example of the applications of psychoanalysis with a specific group or in a particular context, from working with refugees in China to understanding the experiences of women who have witnessed political violence in Peru. Psychoanalytic work with Trauma, Flight and Migration provides a compelling exploration of the international contributions made by psychoanalysis.

    This innovative book will be essential reading for psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic psychotherapists looking to learn more about working with people who have experienced the impact of traumatic movement or migration.

    Editorial introduction, PART A: Psychoanalytical projects “off the couch”, 1. What has clinical psychoanalysis to offer to traumatised refugees? Some experiences during the so-called “refugee crisis” in Hesse (Germany): Part I: the STEP-BY-STEP project, Part II: psychoanalytic treatments of refugees in Kassel, 2. A quite “normal” treatment with a refugee in the form of the International Clinic as part of the training outpatient clinic at the Frankfurt Psychoanalytic Institute, 3. Forced to flee: the experience of Peruvian women in times of political violence, 4. Perinatal migration: lived experience and intergenerational transmission, 5. Psicólogos Contigo: working with displaced inhabitants because of a natural disaster, 6. From a trench in the war against children, 7. Suffering from elsewhere: trauma and its transmission, 8. Psychoanalysis and the drama of refugees in Italy, 9. Mourning and issues of identity in the treatment of refugees in Lesvos, 10. Is psychoanalysis of any help for refugees?, 11. Schizoid mechanisms in posttraumatic states, 12. Long-term psychoanalytic treatments with traumatised refugees, 13. Fifteen years of psychoanalytical fieldwork in Eastern African cities, 14. The return of the oppressed, the birth of the other, and collective Western guilt, 15. Trauma, refugees, and ethnopsychoanalytical experiences, PART B: Psychoanalysis and the UN, 16. Advocating Psychoanalysis at the UN, 17. The psychoanalyst, psychoanalysis, and human rights: a perspective that instigates us, 18. The right to stay in place


    Vivienne Elton, MBBS, DPM, FRANZCP, is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, past president and current training analyst of the Australian Psychoanalytical Society, and chair of the IPA in the Humanitarian Field Committee.

    Marianne Leuzinger-Bohleber, MD, Dr. phil., is former professor for psychoanalysis at the University of Kassel and director of the Sigmund-Freud-Institut, Frankfurt a.M. She is currently senior professor at the University Medicine Mainz, training analyst of the German Psychoanalytical Association (DPV/IPA), vice chair of the Research Board of the IPA (2010–2021), and member and former chair of the IPA Subcommittee for Migration and Refugees.

    Gertraud Schlesinger-Kipp, Dr. phil., is a psychologist, psychoanalyst, training analyst of the German Psychoanalytical Association (DPV, IPA), and chair of the IPA Subcommittee for Migration and Refugees.

    Vivian B. Pender, MD, is clinical professor of psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medical College, and training psychoanalyst at Columbia University. She has chaired the UN Committee of the International Psychoanalytical Association since 2009.

    This volume answers the question: how can psychoanalysts help our troubled world? Through the leadership of the IPA in the Humanitarian Field Committee, the reader is introduced to a global collection of creative, effective, psychoanalytic efforts to restore a sense of humanity, of physical, cultural, and psychic containment, to refugees and migrants. The task of truly hearing stories of exploitation, torture, and loss – of homeland, language, community, socioeconomic position, health, and safety – requires the ability to listen deeply while holding intense effect. Every person who wants to help fellow citizens of the world impacted by current crises of climate, social injustice, economic inequity, and political oppression will benefit from the psychological and systems insights offered by the psychoanalyst authors of Trauma, Flight and Migration.

    Harriet Wolfe, MD, president, International Psychoanalytical Association

    Studying traumatizing world events from a psychoanalytic angle is a difficult task. However, such an investigation not only offers new treatment options for those who suffered but also informs authorities on how to deal with societal, political, and economic approaches to such an event. This book brings together psychoanalysts around the world who address the largest refugee problems we are presently facing. We learn what clinical psychoanalysis can offer in improving the care of traumatized newcomers, including children. Another objective is the sharing psychoanalytically informed data with humanitarian organizations and the UN. The COVID-19 pandemic led to more preoccupation with physical borders between the nation states complicating illegal refugee issues. This book is most timely. 

    Vamık Volkan, MD, emeritus professor of psychiatry, University of Virginia; emeritus president, International Dialogue Initiative; author of Large-Group Psychology: Racism, Societal Divisions, Narcissistic Leaders and Who We Are Now

    This book demonstrates how psychoanalytic knowledge can contribute in important ways to understand and deal with the challenges posed by the unprecedented number of migrants and refugees seeking asylum today because of war, civil unrest, and economic turmoil in their homeland countries. In a unique way, and with impressive examples from psychoanalysts’ worldwide work of engaging in societal issues, the book provides in-depth knowledge about relational problems, identity crises and unconscious conflicts resulting from severe trauma, violence, kidnaping, trafficking, and separation from families. Being a tribute to IPA’s increasing commitment to comprehend the political, social, and cultural context of mental health problems, this book, dealing with the deeply upsetting reality of flight, migration, and exile, is of interest for a wide audience.

    Siri Erika Gullestad, professor emeritus, University of Oslo; training analyst and past president of the Norwegian Psychoanalytic Society; chair of IPA Research Committee