work with victims of torture
and organised violence

Why EFPP wants to organise a working-group concerning victims of torture and organised violence?

The executive has discussed a need for the formation of an ongoing group giving priority to the psychoanalytic work with victims of organised violence and torture as well as the immediate families of victims. Why is
this? Why do we want to put special emphasis on this area of work compared to other areas? The importance of doing this should be understood in the perspective that an organisation like the EFPP has social-political
obligations and needs. It is in the best interest of psychoanalytic work in general, and of special importance related to the work done in the public sector, to make links with the social-political area of human rights.
Whether we recognise this or not - these dimensions are part of the context for the psychotherapeutic dialogue and as such are part of the psychoanalytic process. The theme of this conference (Cyprus, October 2000)
is: "The therapist's influence on the process and outcome of psychoanalytic psychotherapy". Relating to this, it is a sad fact that the process and outcome of therapy are affected both directly and indirectly by an external
reality of war, ethnic or religious conflict, organised violence and torture, which in so many parts of the world, including Europe, confronts or has confronted both the patients and the therapists alike. As we know these processes don´t stop as peace is achieved in the external world but are known to continue as chaotic parts of our internal world even through generations.

That this is so becomes so much more acute considering the present external context of the conference at Cyprus taking place in the divided city of Nicosia, split in two parts along an artificial line created as a result of
armed conflict. It is distressingly appropriate to take this initiative just at a time in which the on-going Middle-East conflict has reached a point of acute crisis bound to create more victims at all age-levels at both sides of the conflict.

This is why the Executive of the EFPP has asked Andrè Gautier to act as the fascilitator or convenor of an on-going working-group. It is our hope in the long run to establish a forum for the development of psychoanalytic
thinking and methodology in this area.

Cyprus, October 2000
Liselotte Grünbaum



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last modified: 2001-07-25