From ‘Authority & Leadership’ to Identities & Cultures in Violent Conflict

From 'Authority & Leadership' to Identities & Cultures in Violent Conflict

In this talk we described a process of progression and shift in the application of Group Relations. In a personal, professional, and organisational journey, we move from an initial significant learning experience to the unique application and method of intervention in deeply ingrained and resistant residues of traumatic histories and their present impact. The integration of individual, meta-individual, group and social understanding enabled working on German-Israeli relatedness, where the shadow of the Holocaust severely hampered both sides’ capacity for work and development.

A special application of the GR method, developed by Eric Miller and his counterparts in Israel and Germany, led to a series of conferences of Germans and Israelis (The “Nazareth Conferences”), in time including Affected Others, Diaspora Jews, and Palestinians, to the founding of PCCA (Partners in Confronting Collective Atrocities) as its organisational umbrella, and to recent work on Victims, Perpetrators and Identities and Cultures in Violent Conflict. The most significant insight it has yielded is the unquestionable and undeniable importance of each group doing its work in the presence of the relevant other. This developmental line signifies how its meaningful internalisation may lead to emergent evolution in Group Relations applications.


Audio recording of talk: Please use headphones and apologies for poor sound in places.[x_audio_embed][/x_audio_embed]


We are Israeli psychoanalysts involved in Group Relations activity for more than 30 years in Israel and internationally. Our involvement was fostered and shaped in close relationship with the Tavistock Group Relations Program. Shmuel played an instrumental role in bringing this work to Israel, and both of us are Founding Members of OFEK 30 years ago. Shmuel directed the first four independent OFEK conferences and many others. Mira served as Chair of OFEK and directed many of its conferences. We were among the initiators of the application of the GR approach to the difficult historical relationship of Germans and Israelis. Ten years ago we founded with colleagues PCCA – Partners in Confronting Collective Atrocities, an organisation devoted to applying this approach and method to the impact of residues of ethnic, national, and international trauma and strife on societies and individuals.
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