Psychoanalyzing Palestinian Trauma

RothSilwanThe American Psychoanalytic Association 2013 National Meeting included a session called: The Application of Psychoanalytic Thinking to Social Problems: Frontline Mothers at a Trauma Vortex.

Dr. Judy Roth (left), clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst, presented her psychoanalytical and ethnographic work with Palestinian mothers on the frontline of political violence and terror.

In describing case-after-case of Palestinian suffering, dehumanization, disintegration, and crushing loss of property and life, Dr. Roth bore witness (and invited everyone in the room to bear witness) to the evil visited on the Palestinian people by the government of Israel. She hopes to rally the mental health community to confront the causes of ‘psychic death’ — that she says will continue in the Palestinian Territories, as long as they are under Israeli occupation and colonization.

Commentary: A similar case can be made for the psychic death — within and among Israelis — petrating injustice against their Palestinian neighbors.

Photograph: Stephen Wise

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