WS and OS abstracts
Foulkes's wings and Jewish roots -The four levels of communication in Group Analysis and in Jewish Kabbala
The Social Unconscious in an Analytic Therapy Group
Foulkes's wings and Jewish roots -The four levels of communication in Group Analysis and in Jewish Kabbala
A lot has been researched about the roots of Group Analysis in psychoanalysis and sociology, but little has been written about the impact of Foulkes' Judaism on his theory formation. He himself had never referred to such an influence. In this lecture I would like to relate to Foulkes' four levels of communication, and argue that there are parallel meanings between them and the four levels of interpretation mentioned in the Kabala, called “Pardes”.
"Pardes" is the Hebrew word to orchard, but it is also the acronym of four words that represent four levels of interpretation to the bible:
PaRDeS = Pshat, Remez, Drush and Sod. Each type of Pardes interpretation examines a different level of text meanings.
Pshat comes from the word simple. It is referring to what we understand from the text when we read it as it is.
Remez means a hint. It refers to a deeper meaning of the text, beyond the literal meaning, like an allegorical meaning or by comparing a word with other instances of the same word. One event is understood by finding resembles to another event.
Drush are stories that were told in the Jewish literature (like in the Talmud and the Hassidic stories), that give metaphorical meaning to the biblical text.
Sod means secret and it refers to the Kabbala, the hidden level that is built on symbolic language.
Comparing the two systems of communication and interpretation can deepen the understanding of the four levels of communication and the possible influence of the Jewish roots and literary sources on Foulkes, in his theorizing about group analysis.
In the lecture we will study the four levels of interpretation through a biblical text, and compare them to Foulkes' four levels of communication.
Leah Chaikin, supervisor Bibliotherapist, group and individual therapy with complexed disabled children in a special education school, private practice for adults in Karmiel, teacher and supervisor in the University of Haifa, teacher in the program of Group Conducting in Tel-Hai college. Finished studies in IIGA.
The Social Unconscious in an Analytic Therapy Group
The concept of the Social Unconscious (SUCS) can be traced back to Foulkes, whose ideas on the foundation matrix bear the imprint of Elias' writings about habitus. However, Foulkes did not explore the clinical significance of the concept. While the SUCS has received considerable attention in recent years, its relevance for clinical work has remained relatively unexplored. A notable exception to this is Earl Hopper's 1996 article. Hopper argues for adding a fourth dimension to the well known triangular basis (Malan) that should underlie the ideal interpretation. He suggests that the SUCS should constitute the fourth dimension, and he presents a 2 by 2 model (here vs. there and now vs. then) in which the 'there and then' quadrant should be included in the interpretation. In addition, drawing on Fromm's concept of the revolutionary character, Hopper suggests that group therapy should aim to foster moral and ideological maturity, derived from individuals' awareness of the limitations of their outlook as a result of the constraining effect of socialization. Opposition to Hopper's emphasis can be found in Nitsun's latest book, where he claims that patients in groups are typically focused on their individual concerns, and that to take on societal issues, is to burden them unfairly. Nitsun expresses reservations about the postmodern trend of casting doubt on the sovereignty of the individual.
In this lecture, I will side with Hopper in the argument, and will suggest a number of features that should characterize the mindset of the group therapist who aims to work with the SUCS. Conductors' interventions are derivations of this mindset. These features include an awareness and respect for the Elias' concept of "entwinement", the idea that socialization and individuation are inextricably linked, not dialectally, but as two sides of the very same coin. The social and the individual are both reified abstractions, and only an appreciation of their entwined quality can allow one to discern derivatives of the SUCS. A corollary to this would be a degree of skepticism about the mother-child paradigm as the royal road to therapeutic action.
In addition, of crucial importance is awareness, cast in humility, of our own embeddedness in the habitus of our age, our community and our profession. This resonates with the emphasis of relational group therapists (Grossmark, Billow) on the inevitable involvement of the therapist in the intersubjective matrix of the group. This awareness implies an acceptance of our limited sovereignty and control over ourselves as individuals. This, in turn, requires a resignation to the inevitable blow to our narcissism, which is based on the illusion that our thoughts and feelings are indeed our own, and are not to a significant extent the products of our group affiliations.
In the vignettes that follow, I will demonstrate the contribution of the SUCS to my interventions in an analytic therapy group. I will focus on a) the tension between belonging and exclusion, illustrated by the interaction between immigrant and veteran Israelis in the group, and b) the effects of secularization, given that of the 5 members of the group, all of whom were at one time religiously observant, only two have remained so.
The lecture will show how the roots of group analytic theory and practice (Foulkes, Elias) have indeed grown wings (Hopper, Grossmark, Billow).
Dr Bruce Oppenheimer, Clinical Psychologist Supervisor, Group and Individual Psychotherapist in private practise in Jerusalem, Organizational Consultant at Zofnat Institute. Currently a third year student in the Diploma course of the Israeli Institute for Group Analysis.Teaches and supervises in various settings.
Chair: Uri Levin
Can the wings of hope overcome the roots of conflict and the stings of a cactus?
H. Alkhateeb, Marcia Honig and Uri Levin.
The objective of our panel is to share with the participants some experiences we have had, as well as some insight we have gained, along over two years of continuous dialog.
We met in the summer of 2016 in Granada, Spain, on attending an annual multicultural conference, with participant from all over the world. For the first time in some years, both a group of Palestinians and a group of Israelis attended this conference.
As you might imagine - the presence of Palestinians and Israelis colored the conference, enabling face-to-face dialogs with our enemies and neighbors, with whom we didn't speak directly for years.
At the foot of the Alhambra, we were forever changed. The talks and experiences we had in Granda have developed, non-linearly, into a deep relationship. We communicate on an almost daily basis, and we managed to meet a few times, in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Beit Jala.
In the panel, we shall tell the story of our endeavor to overcome internal and external obstacles, and strengthen the fragile matrix of dialogue we have created. The story will take the shape of a Rashomon – each one of us will share his or her narrative, his or her perspective, his or her point-of-view. At the end of "telling the story", we welcome an open discussion.
Uri Levin is a clinical psychologist, group analyst and organizational consultant. He is a board member of the EFPP (European Federation of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy). He teaches at the Tel Aviv University and supervises both in individual and group settings. He works mainly at his private practice in Tel Aviv with adults, couples and adolescents.
Creature with roots and wings?!
A special space for processing the contents of the International Workshop for Russian-speaking participants.
The act of participation in a conference in a foreign country is, without a doubt, an act of "spreading wings".
This special space invite you to elaborate what we are going through in all parts of the Workshop and to observe the conditions that we need to get in contact with both our Roots and Wings.
The meetings will be held in Russian.
Ella Stolper is an individual and group psychotherapist, supervisor. She is a senior faculty member at Tel Aviv University in a group facilitation program and at the College of Society and Arts, as well as a supervisor and coordinator at the Program of Group Leading at the Central School of Social Work.She is a member of the Israeli Institution of Group Analysis.
What will the Neighbors Think?
We all born within a family system that nurtures us to go out into the world and get along with others. There is always a push and pull regarding the desire to remain secure and loved within the boundaries of the family and the adventure of exploring new territory, new people and expanding the sense of security and love in a wider sphere. The ‘rapproachment’ stage of development is replayed over and over again as we move through childhood and adolescence and adulthood. We play, we interact, we fight, we resolve and we grow. How do we learn to balance our need for safety and our need to challenge our boundaries to move forward? How do we establish boundaries or expand open borders between family, friends, or neighbors on our street, our cities and our countries? This workshop is designed as an experiential exploration of dynamics between neighbors or group members. Do neighbors reinforce and strengthen our security or do they threaten our sense of safety? In this workshop, Members will ponder upon the development of a secure base, how to launch off from it and to return to it, when needed. Through the lens of attachment theory , each member can challenge themselves to blend comfort with discomfort while discovering new horizons and revisiting old landscapes in the dynamics of being neighbors.
Leah Slivko is a psychoanalyst and Group therapist who has a full time private practice in NYC. She presently is the co-director of the Eastern Group Psychotherapy one year training program and a control analyst with the NJ Institute for Psychoanalysis.
Finding Roots and Wings in Language
Dina Leibovits, Rachel Abramowicz and Svein Tjelta
The Roots are continually present in our language, which gives us an anchor to our past, relates us to the present. What are the Wings that take us to the future?
In this workshop we will try to talk as many languages as possible, concrete and metaphoric, and to communicate with each other. We will reflect on our personal experiences with language, the meaning and the impact they had for us. For those who were born and live within their mother tongue, for those who migrated and needed to learn a new language. As well as for most of us, who come to a Congress and are requested to speak another language… And there may be many other personal experiences.
We all know that the language is not just a tool of communication. The language enables us express ourselves and helps us to be what we are. Sometimes knowing the language causes us to feel well and bright or, on the contrary we can feel weak and silly.
Socially, language can separate us, as in Babel’s Tower, it can also connect us and give us a sense of belonging.
In the workshop, we will try to understand what are the steps that connect and bring us to common understanding, personally and professionally.
Our first understanding of language is intuitive, and is learnt from our interactions with others. Later in life, how do we know that we are expressing ourselves with precision? A word can have different meanings for different individuals. What has man developed to create anchors to our language, so we know we mean the same? In our profession how do we manage with this theme?
Dina Leibovits Cotin - Clinical Psychologist, Supervisor and Group Analyst. Works at Amcha, Holocaust Survivors, Haifa.
Private Practice: individual, couples, group psychotherapy and supervision. Coordinator of the Training Program and member of the Teaching Committee at the Israeli Institute of Group Analysis.
Rachel A. Abramowicz - Senior Clinical Psychologist, Supervisor.
Group Analyst. Private practice, working with adolescents, adults, couples and groups. Member of the Israeli Institute of Group Analysis and G.A.S.I. Supervisor at the Training Program and Qualifying Committee member in IIGA.
Svein Tjelta - Certified Psychoanalytical Psychotherapist, Qualified Group Analyst. Former Member of Teaching Staff IGA Norway.
Member of IFP Norway, and GASI. Supervisor and Training Therapist. Author and Lecturer.
Maternal and Paternal Concern for Our Soldier’s Children: Who wants to speak the Unspeakable?
Robi Friedman and Yael Doron
What does it mean to send one’s child to the army? How does it feel to be a parent to a soldier in a Soldier’s Matrix? Do mothers and fathers have different roles and expectations in our society?
A Soldier's Matrix is a society, in which every citizen - men, women, elder and young – seemed to be enrolled forever coping with existential threats or promises for glory.
The Soldier's Matrix, dominated by the politics and identifications with the Dynamic Matrix, exert a restrictive and limiting impact both on the Foundation Matrix and the individual. One of the strongest characteristics of such a Society is its splitting of cognitions and emotions into foe and friend, them and us, good and bad, loved and hated. Guilt, shame and empathy towards the "Other" give way to aggression, sacrifice and selfless patterns of relation. The challenge of individuals in the Soldier's Matrix is to distance themselves from over- identification with the matrix. The sacrifice of sons and daughters may be considered as the condenser phenomena of the Soldier’s Matrix dynamics.
In the workshop we will like to promote a potential dialogue between maternal and paternal concerns in a soldier’s matrix. We will make a first step of speaking the unspeakable pain and consciousness of the recruiting of our children. We hope to go beyond the taboo and the usual denial of maternal and paternal identifications with the Soldier's Matrix. In our encounter we will share relevant personal stories, memories and dreams, associate to them, and use the process in order to become aware of the powerful forces influencing the Soldier's Matrix within each of us as individuals and together as a group.
Dr. Robi Friedman - Clinical Psychologist, Group Analyst. Private practice in Haifa, Israel. Haifa University, teaches also at the Israel Institute for Group Analysis, of which he is co-founder. Past President of the Group Analytic Society (International). Co-editor of: "Dreams in Group Psychotherapy"(2002); "Desire, Passion and Gender"(2011 and “Group Analysis in the Land of Milk and Honey” (2016/7) with Yael Doron.
Yael Doron, M.A. Rehabilitation psychologist and group analyst. Works with individuals and couples and conducts analytic groups in private practice in Ramat-Gan, Israel. A staff member, a supervisor and a lecturer at the University of Haifa, at the Israeli Institute of Group Analysis (IIGA), and at the Central School for Social Workers. Co-editor of "Group Analysis in the Land of Milk and Honey" (Karnac, 2017).
Musical echoes from the nursery
Rhythms, rhymes, melodies, voices. Heartbeat and blood-flow whoosh. Humming and muttering. Murmur and mumble. Loud and quiet. Sounds are part of our very early sensual experiences and primordial communications. Sound, voice and rhythm play an important role in establishing the mother-child dyad, in the development of one's sense of self and it's expression ,and in the relations between the baby and the auditory world around him.
In this workshop we will explore (actually hear) lullabies, childhood songs and melodies as embodying roots of the individual sound-self, musical affinity, auditory memories, and as providing a cultural-social platform for communications.
We will invite participants to bring memories of childhood songs, lullabies and rhymes. We will listen to some of them together and share feelings, emotions and memories that the music arouses. We will explore musical and verbal resonance and look for sound echoing (the auditory parallel of mirroring) on the personal and on the cultural level, as well as revealing primordial communications.
We will examine the acoustic matrix in the group and allow for opportunities for finding shared primordial musical roots.
Idit Shani - Psychologist and group conductor, 3rd year trainee in IIGA Diploma program. Supervisor and consultant for mental health services, welfare organizations and social agencies. Lecturer at Bar-Ilan University in Sexual Trauma Treatment Training program. Board member of Israeli Association of Group Psychotherapy. Private clinic in Kfar-Saba.
On the wings of drama - A creative exploration of our potential options for “Flying”.
In this workshop we will explore our roots: what we have brought from our original sources to our present life; and how we use them, or do not. We shall explore means for discovering new ways to connect with our roots and to “fly” from there on our OWN wings. For this purpose we shall employ tools from the world of theater and drama therapy, namely, creativity, imagination and improvisations.
Ofra Faiman, MA. Theater director in Theater of the Negev, Drama teacher, Group conductor in conflict groups, and a social dramatist in various groups in the Negev ( Arab-Jewish, religious–secular, refugees–veteran Israelis). Member of AGPA and the Israeli association for Group conducting.
“There are two things children should get from their parents: roots and wings”
It is no coincidence that this quote from Goethe, a man of modernity, was chosen as the title of this conference about the individual and the group. These images embody two key human characteristics: the root, which likens the person to a tree, in its wish to hold on to the ground, to dig deeper and deeper inside it, to be nourished and nourishing through it and through it to develop a sense of belonging and identity; and the wing, which likens the person to a bird, that being which can overcome gravity, soar upwards and fly away wherever it wants to go. Both modernity and psychoanalysis as its product (shaped by the former and shaping it in return) were both preoccupied with the issues these characteristics have given rise to in the lives of individuals and groups and especially with the tension created by the dynamics of their interaction.The post-modern age has unsettled both these images. The model of the tree and the root that is planted deep in the ground has been replaced by the rhizome (Deleuze, 2003), depicted as a “rhizome, a kind of grass or couch grass, which is not subordinated to any organizing principle” (Katz, 2012). The rhizome is characterized by anarchic growth, lacking any central-hierarchic focus and sprawling over a vast area, and by the loose hold its roots have on the ground. It is easily carried away by the wind but will just as easily take root again wherever it may land. The image of wings has been similarly unsettled; unlike the wings of modernity, post-modern wings are not designed to enable their owner to soar towards some clear, well-defined and sought-after goal; rather, they create an incessant motion and their essential role is often to maintain the very state of being in motion: “in a motion that is faster than time, in perpetual indeterminacy and in a restless, conch-like circularity” (Lusky, 2007).
Thus both roots and wings have donned a different visage, in an age that no longer holds the ground sacred, that challenges the need for rootedness and undermines the notion that there is anywhere to fly to; while at the same time offering an infinite un-territorial space, which holds multiple possibilities and identities, which is not subordinated to hierarchy and its binding laws or to the boundary between reality and imagination. It sometimes seems that this age has fused roots and wings together, bypassing the trunk and creating ‘aerial roots’, which are grasped and released by some post-modern Tarzan, in his ceaseless wanderings around the technological jungle.
In this spirit, workshop participants are invited to enter a joint space of observation, exploration and sharing, focused on the phenomena created by the roots and wings of post-modernity in our lives and the meaning they hold for us: the phenomenon of relocation; “Berlin children”, fake news, “skype-grandma” (one of the post-modern identities held by the author of these lines) and others.
Miki Toder-Goldin, an expert clinical psychologist and group analyst. Individual and group supervisor and chair of final papers committee at the Tel Aviv University Psychotherapy Program. Individual and group supervisor at the ministry of social services and mental health. Group supervisor at the "Bshvil Hahaim" Organization. Offers psychotherapy and supervision at a private practice.