Presenter: Vamik Volkan, M.D.
Presentation: For over 35 years, Dr. Volkan, continuing a tradition begun with Sigmund Freud, has been interested in the psychology of large-group human behavior, political leader-follower relationships, political ideologies, religion, and wars. Especially after the Holocaust, many psychoanalysts began to examine the influence of massive trauma at the hand of the Other and its transmission through the generations. This presentation describes Dr. Volkan’s findings in large-group psychology and explores collaboration between psychoanalysis and diplomacy. He describes large-group identity, be that identity tribal, ethnic, national, religious or ideological, how it develops and how that identity – an identity that does not have one brain to think or two eyes to cry – can inspire people to kill in its name. When ten thousands or millions of members of a large group share a psychological journey, what we see are social, cultural and political processes that are specific for the large group under study. The presenter provides detailed information on historical events and individuals involved in these groups to illustrate the large-group process and their consequences, in a way similar to that of a psychoanalyst presenting the necessary case materials to show the manifestations of a patient’s individual psychology.
9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. (Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.)
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Enemies on the Couch: Why Is War Endless? Interview with Vamik Volkan, M.D.
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