The Handbook of Psychoanalytic Holocaust Studies, International Perspectives (Routledge, 2020), edited by Ira Brenner, MD is now available via Routledge/Taylor & Francis and Amazon.
The book is a unique compilation of essays about the genocidal persecution fueling the Nazi regime in World War II. Written by world-renowned experts in the field, it confronts a vitally important and exceedingly difficult topic with sensitivity, courage, and wisdom, furthering our understanding of the Holocaust/Shoah psychoanalytically, historically, and through the arts.
Authors from four continents offer their perspectives, clinical experiences, findings, and personal narratives on such subjects as resilience, remembrance, giving testimony, aging, and mourning. There is an emphasis on the intergenerational transmission of trauma of both the victims and the perpetrators, with chapters looking at the question of “evil”, comparative studies, prevention, and the misuse of the Holocaust. Those chapters relating to therapy address the specific issues of the survivors, including the second and third generation, through psychoanalysis as well as other modalities, whilst the section on creativity and the arts looks at film, theater, poetry, opera, and writing.
The aftermath of the Holocaust demanded that psychoanalysis re-examine the importance of psychic trauma; those who first studied this darkest chapter in human history successfully challenged the long-held assumption that psychical reality was essentially the only reality to be considered. As a result, contemporary thought about trauma, dissociation, self psychology, and relational psychology were greatly influenced by these pioneers, whose ideas have evolved since then. This long-awaited text is the definitive update and elaboration of their original contributions.
About the Editor: Ira Brenner, M.D., is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, and Training and Supervising Analyst at the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia. He chairs the Holocaust Discussion Group at the meetings of the American Psychoanalytic Association, and has been widely recognized for his contributions to the field of psychic trauma.
Contents | Chapter Abstracts | Reviews
Dr. Brenner was honored with a 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Society for the Study of Trauma. The organization says of this award:
The Lifetime Achievement Award is the highest recognition given to an individual or individuals who have contributed over a generous span of time to the field of dissociation and/or trauma and the ISSTD.
The awards ceremony was held at the ISSTD‘s 36th Annual Conference, “The World Congress on Complex Trauma and Dissociation” in New York in March 2019.
From the ISSTD awards page:
When it comes to the world of organized psychoanalysis, Ira, who is both a child and adult analyst, and a training and supervision analyst, is the preeminent voice for the sophisticated study of dissociation and trauma. He addresses the major national and international meetings, psychoanalytic and otherwise, and teaches world-wide on a regular basis on the subjects of trauma, dissociation, disaster psychiatry, transgenerational trauma, and psychoanalytic studies on genocide and ethnic and international conflicts.
Dr. Brenner is featured in an episode of the interview series “Beyond The Couch,” with host Madelaine Sayko of the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia, to discuss the long term effects of child sexual abuse by authority figures, and the care for survivors and their families.
Dr. Brenner was interviewed for an episode of The Experts Speak, a podcast series from The Florida Psychiatric Society, hosted by Abbey Strauss, M.D.
Their discussion is featured in the episode “Transferring Trauma Across Generations.”
Ira Brenner, M.D, speaks about psychological traumas and how the impacts can be transmitted across generations, needed interventions, some diagnostic and biological issues.
Listen to the podcast here.
The International Psychoanalytical Association‘s flagship event will take place July 24-27 at The Queen Elizabeth II Centre in London. The theme of this year’s Congress is “The Feminine.”
From the IPA:
Psychoanalytic theory and practice both have a part to play in addressing the question of ‘the feminine’. Our goal for this Congress is to focus on issues that affect the everyday life and experiences of both women and men …
New family configurations and sexual and gender diversity have challenged established standards of sexual binarism and have invited new questions about femininity and masculinity …
We have therefore had to revisit many concepts whose relevance for clinical practice is unquestionable …
Within this framework, the IPA takes up the challenge of updating and rethinking classical psychoanalytic views on the feminine and their repercussions in psychoanalysis.
JULY 26, 2019
5:15 p.m – 7:15 p.m.
- Hayman Award and Hayman Prize
Chair: Nilde Franch, Ira Brenner
Presenters: Nannette Auerhahn, Dany Khouri
July 27, 2019
10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
- Remembering Dori Laub who taught us how to listen to the Holocaust and terrors in the mind
Dori Laub’s psychoanalytic thinking about mass trauma presents a unique style of eliciting the human being behind the narratives of survival. An international panel honors and remembers him. His work on psychic despair opens paths for psychoanalytic work with all extreme psychic helplessness, including our own. We invite audience participation. We have all been deeply reached by Dori Laub, a child Holocaust survivor, who was dedicated to comprehend what happens in our minds and in our connections with others when the most awful traumas take place. He taught us all how to listen, how to try to stay alive when we are unsure it is possible with our traumatized patients and ourselves. We cannot imagine making contact with the Holocaust and all overwhelming psychic pain without feeling accompanied by Dori Laub; and, we miss him. We will all be brief to give audience members opportunity to participate in remembering Dori Laub and his work.
Chair: Nancy Goodman
Presenters: Rosemary Balsam, Ilany Kogan, Ira Brenner, Werner Bohleber, Arlene Kramer Richards
Full Programme here.
Spring CME Meeting – “After the Shock…”
Rosen Shingle Creek
Saturday | April 14, 2018
8:15 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
“Intergenerational Transmission Of Trauma”
Presenter: Ira Brenner, MD: Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Jefferson Medical College and the Psychoanalytic Institute
About the conference:
Both patients and doctors are dealing with the aftermath of various traumas at an individual, family, and societal level. Working towards recovery and enhancing resiliency is paramount. The Florida Psychiatric Society (FPS) Spring CME Meeting “After the Shock… Treating Trauma” is devoted to providing the latest understanding of etiology, multi-modal treatments, and resources for trauma-related disorders. Join us for an expert slate of speakers and a variety of topics related to this theme.
Saturday, February 24, 2018
11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Thomas Jefferson University
130 S 9th St,
Philadelphia, PA 19107
“Historical and contemporary studies of trauma demonstrate that complex trauma can be transmitted intergenerationally. In order to provide effective treatment, clinicians need to understand how to recognize the intergenerational transmission of trauma and the mechanisms of transmission.”
Sponsored by The Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia (PCOP)
The 12th Annual Akhtar-Brenner Lecture on Psychoanalysis, presented by Michael Vergare MD, was held at Thomas Jefferson University Sidney Kimmel Medical College in Philadelphia, PA on October 25, 2017.
The esteemed speaker was Jerome Blackman, MD with a talk entitled, “Psychoanalytically-Enhanced Mental Status Assessment.”
For his work “The Last Witness: Learning About Life and Death from Aging Survivors,” Dr. Brenner was presented with the Elise M. Hayman Award for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide at the International Psychoanalytic Association’s 50th Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
See a full list of award winners and a video snapshot of the conference.