Psychic Reality in Context: Perspectives on Psychoanalysis, Personal History, and Trauma

Author(s) : Marion Michel Oliner

Psychic Reality in Context: Perspectives on Psychoanalysis, Personal History, and Trauma

Book Details

  • Publisher : Karnac Books
  • Published : 2012
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 192
  • Category :
    Psychoanalysis
  • Category 2 :
    Trauma and Violence
  • Catalogue No : 33139
  • ISBN 13 : 9781780491264
  • ISBN 10 : 1780491263

Reviews and Endorsements

'Marion Oliner has written an enormously useful clinical book with innumerable insights on trauma and its psychoanalytic treatment. The careful distinctions she draws are exciting to the dormant thinkers in us who have perhaps been too content to accept current fashion, yet the book is also wise and moving. Challenging many of the current views on trauma and its psychoanalytic conceptualisations, she combines logical incisiveness, acquired in long years of studying psychoanalytic theory, with insight on trauma, acquired both in psychoanalytic practice and first-hand as a Jewish child born in Germany and caught up in the chaos and danger of Hitler's reign. Her clinical experience and her unceasing efforts as a psychoanalytic patient to understand the impact on herself of her wartime suffering and losses allow us to appreciate, from a new perspective, the need to separate the state in which the individual meets danger and survives it from the memories of the trauma that later emerge and from the empathic state of a listener to those memories. Such distinctions provide a background to understanding the role of omnipotence and its potentially deleterious consequences when it becomes a tool of unconscious guilt.'
- Gail S. Reed, Phd.

'Anything written by Marion Oliner is worth reading. Her new book contains personal, clinical, and original theoretical wisdom, and I recommend it to anyone interested in the mind and psychoanalysis.'
- Leonard Shengold

'This book is the admirable sum of a life. It embodies a unique combination of shattering autobiographical narration and crystal-clear psychoanalytic theorising. The author was severely traumatised as a child by the events of the Holocaust. After having survived, she found the way to psychoanalysis and a lifelong attempt at working through these experiences. During decades, the reflections of many colleagues about trauma and the effects of trauma, consequently about the reciprocal influence of external reality on psychic reality, as discovered by Freud, seemed to threaten the coherence of psychoanalysis. Marion Oliner now accomplishes an innovative theoretical integration with remarkable conceptual and technical consequences.'
- Ilse Grubrich-Simitis, training analyst, German Psychoanalytical Assocation (DPV)

'This landmark book conveys important insights into the nature of trauma, which I have not before seen expressed with such clarity and conviction. Traditional trauma theory can sometimes ignore the processes through which traumatic memories are subject to assimilation by unconscious fantasies. In therapy, the historic events have to be regained. As Oliner emphasises, uncovering the reworking of traumatic memories by unconscious omnipotent fantasies helps to free the patient from imagined responsibility and guilt for these traumatic events. Her two autobiographical chapters at the beginning of the book are both touching and impressive, and lend the following theoretical chapters a special note of existential reflection.'
- Werner Bohleber, PhD, former President of the German Psychoanalytical Association (DPV)

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