Fairy Tales and the Social Unconscious: The Hidden Language

Author(s) : Ravit Raufman, Author(s) : Haim Weinberg

Part of The New International Library of Group Analysis series - more in this series

Fairy Tales and the Social Unconscious: The Hidden Language

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : August 2017
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 192
  • Category :
    Group Psychotherapy
  • Catalogue No : 36830
  • ISBN 13 : 9781782202684
  • ISBN 10 : 1782202684
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The book combines two main perspectives: the study of the social unconscious and the study of fairy tales. Examining different versions of fairy tales told by different ethnic communities teaches us about the relations between universal and local/cultural aspects of the social unconscious. Exploring the unique status of fairy tales as located on the border line between concrete/somatic and abstract/linguistic realms sheds light on different levels of the human mind.

The book focuses on a specific phenomenon common in fairy tales: a realization of idiomatic expressions - a phenomenon in which an abstract/mental idea is hidden behind a concrete event embedded in the plot. Deciphering the abstract idea out of the pictorial world of the fairy tale enables to understand the stories in a way which is not available otherwise. The book suggests interdisciplinary examination, reminding us the rich, deep messages hidden in fairy tales, and connecting us to early developments in the field of psychoanalysis, by suggesting new interpretation to old, ancient material. The book may be of interest to therapists in the clinical community, as well as to everyone who is fascinated by the fantastic, magical world of fairy tales.

Reviews and Endorsements

‘Fairy tales move here magically between the concrete and the abstract, the somatic and spiritual. The reader is fascinated by the play with human existence, from intimacy to primordial experiences, and the emergence of unconscious relations in society. This book is an eye-opener to the meanings and functions of metaphors and the symbolic world of fairy tales.’
— Robi Friedman, PhD, clinical psychologist and group analyst, President of the International Group Analytic Society

‘In this richly textured text, Ravit Raufman and Haim Weinberg integrate fable, myth, fairytale and group psychotherapy, deepening the reader’s understanding of the social unconscious and its historic, cross cultural and collective roots. Language is the essential medium of our work and this text expands our therapeutic capacity to understand in depth our patients’ language and use of metaphor.’
— Molyn Leszcz, MD, psychiatrist-in-chief, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, and professor and clinical vice chair in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto

‘Once upon a time, Ravit Raufman and Haim Weinberg, two Israeli writers, went looking for the source of fairy tales. They journey on borderlines between the somatic and symbolic, go past Bettelheim’s “Uses of Enchantment”, through the world of living fossils to somatic idioms, and beyond language via nonverbal experience they enter the realm of the imaginary. Here they make new discoveries about differences between Jung’s collective and Foulkes’s social unconscious, as Freud’s and Bollas’s shadows are cast on the objects. Their scholarship, enchantment and originality break new ground and the authors’ discoveries will provide landmarks in many fields.’
— John Schlapobersky, training analyst, Institute of Group Analysis, London, and author of From the Couch to the Circle: Group-Analytic Psychotherapy in Practice

About the Author(s)

Ravit Raufman, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and group therapist. She is senior lecturer and faculty member at the University of Haifa, Israel; a member of the American Group Psychotherapy Association; and a board member of the International Journal of Group psychotherapy. Her work explores psychoanalytical approaches to fairy-tales, the affinity between fairy-tales and dreams, and thought processes in fairy-tales and groups.

More titles by Ravit Raufman

Haim Weinberg is a Californian and Israeli licensed psychologist and group analyst. He is Past-president of the Northern California Group Psychotherapy Society and the Israeli Association of Group Psychotherapy. He is the director of an international doctorate program in psychology with an emphasis on group psychotherapy at the Professional School of Psychology, Sacramento, California, where he serves as the academic Vice President.

More titles by Haim Weinberg

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