Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength – Sigmund Freud

Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength – Sigmund Freud

PCCA wins the Sigourney Award!!


20 January 2020

PCCA wins the Sigourney Award!!

To quote the announcement from the Mary Sigourney Award Trust:

“Congratulations! It is our great pleasure to announce that Partners in Confronting Collective Atrocities is a recipient of the 2019 Sigourney Award! A panel of distinguished judges found that PCCA’s work in pioneering community-based psychoanalytic/ social intervention to address the residual effects of trauma and atrocities stood out as an outstanding contribution to psychoanalysis and its ability to reduce human suffering and understand human affairs.”

The Sigourney Award usually recognised the excellence of individuals and their contributions. However, in 2018, it announced that groups and organisations that have made a significant contribution to the application of psychoanalysis in the social sphere would also be eligible.

The Sigourney Award is one of the most prestigious prizes in the psychoanalytic world. The award is also significant in that it represents recognition by the psychoanalytic world of the importance and potential value of understanding group and organisational processes and specifically Group Relations, one of the Tavistock Institute’s fundamental methodologies.

The list of the award’s recipients represents the most notable achievements of people that have contributed to the field of psychoanalysis in many ways: research, clinical and theoretical expansion of horizons, social and cultural relevance, and above all originality of thought and impact on the psychoanalytic field. Today, psychoanalysis embraces a range of philosophies and modern clinical theories as well as social advocacy, culture and art.

We are very proud that the work PCCA has championed over many years, with so many people, nationalities and countries accorded with this recognition. PCCA now joins the ranks of what has been recognised as significant, original and creative achievements in psychoanalysis and its capacity, together with our group relations methodology, to make a contribution and have an impact on social reality, where trauma and the aftermath of violence and atrocities affect so many of us in so many areas.

The PCCA project began in 1994 with the Germans and Israelis – the Past in the Present series of conferences which were initiated by the founders of OFEK (The Israel Association for the Study of Group and Organizational Processes) as a unique application of Group Relations methodology to the aftermath of the Holocaust. PCCA, as an organisation, was created as a continuation of this work and was supported and sponsored from its inception by the German and Israeli Psychoanalytic societies, as well as OFEK and the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations.

Further, this year’s key event was marked by the 12th PCCA conference 80 Years Later: Will History Repeat Itself? The Fallout of The Holocaust Over Those Affected directed by Mira Erlich-Ginor, which took place in Platres, Cyprus, 11 – 16 September 2019.  This conference continued the exploration of the residual effects and aftermath of horrendous atrocities on the national groups that perpetrated them or were their victims. The series focused initially on the shadow cast by the Holocaust on Germans and Israelis. It began with the need felt by a group of Israeli and German psychoanalysts to work on the deeply-lodged suspicion, hostility and unbearable guilt which marked the relationship between Germans and Israelis/Jews as a legacy of the Holocaust. The Group Relations approach was chosen as the best-suited working method and adapted to this end. Participants who have worked on this interface found this work hugely beneficial on their personal and professional life, and many have returned for a further opportunity to deepen their engagement with the process (Erlich, Erlich-Ginor, Beland, 2009, Fed With Tears, Poisoned with Milk).

The original conferences retained their roots in the events of the Holocaust, now more recent conferences have extended the work to specific groups, eg Palestinians, as well as leaving the door open to membership of other groups that have similarly been caught up in processes of ill-treatment and/or genocide. In order to shed light on what is going on and to contribute to a better future.

If you’d like to receive details of the next PCCA group relations conference, see here.

Consultant Contact: Dr Leslie B Brissett, Director of the Group Relations Programme

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