Shmuel Erlich was born in Frankfurt a/M, Germany, raised in Israel, educated in the US, and returned to Israel in 1971. He held the Sigmund Freud Chair in Psychoanalysis at the Hebrew University and was Director of the Freud Center for Psychoanalytic Study and Research (1990-2005). He played a key role in introducing Group Relations to Israel and is a Founding Member of OFEK (Organization, Person, Group – The Israel Association for the Study of Group and Organizational Processes). A clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst, he is a Training and Supervising Analyst of the Israel Psychoanalytic Society and Institute and past-president of the Society, and on the Board of the International Psychoanalytic Association. He is co-author of "Fed with Tears, Poisoned with Milk: The Nazareth Group Relations Conferences" and other publications in psychoanalysis, socio-analysis and Group Relations. His most recent book is titled, “The Couch in the Marketplace: Psychoanalysis and Social Reality” (2013, Karnac).
I am a psychoanalyst in private practice in Berlin. I am the President of the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute and a member of the Board and the Committee on Outreach and Interdisciplinary Dialogue of the German Psychoanalytic Association. I had studied Protestant Theology and Psychology and focused on how Christian history and tradition contributed to the genesis of anti-Semitism that led to the persecution and murder of Jews in Nazi-Germany and Europe. My way into Group Relations work was through the “Nazareth” conferences, the project of Germans and Israelis: The Past in the Present. I am a member of PCCA (Partners in Confronting Collective Atrocities) and have worked in various Group Relations Conferences in different roles.
Since the founding in Berlin in 2001 of the Abraham Geiger College for training Rabbis and Cantors I have been involved in developing the college and structuring its work. I currently take part in the evaluating processes of the candidates.
Born and raised in Israel, I knew that my paternal grandparents were Holocaust survivors. This awareness finally affected me in my early teens, when it set off a complex exchange between the memory of the war and my fantasy world. After my army service I studied for my BA in Psychology and Sociology, where I became aware of Israel's role as an occupying country. Until then I knew only that Israel has always been a victim and still is, and needs to protect itself.
Since I completed my MA in Medical Psychology I work in this capacity with patients and medical staff in a leading hospital.
Four years ago, I took part in a Group Relations conference in Israel. The themes that I encountered there enabled me to expand my professional and personal life.
Two years ago I was a member in the conference "European Perpetrators and Victims - Then and Now." At the outset I was uncertain about the relevance of the conference to my life and work, yet the conference experience expanded my perspectives and opened new professional opportunities, such as doing Group Relation work with PHR (Physicians for Human Rights) in Israel.
David Armstrong is a social psychologist and organisational consultant. Trained at the Tavistock Institute, he worked at the University of London and The Grubb Institute before returning to a newly founded consultancy unit at the Tavistock Clinic in 1994. He has published widely in the field of systems psychodynamics and is the author of Organization in the Mind: Psychoanalysis, Group Relations and Organizational Consultancy, a collection of papers, edited by Robert French and published by Karnac , London in 2005.
Louisa Diana Brunner: I was born in Cambridge (UK) and brought up in Trieste (Italy), which is on the border with former Yugoslavia, now of Slovenia and Croatia. I was educated in Italy and in England. I live in Milan (Italy). I am a Founding Member and Treasurer of PCCA and have worked on the PCCA project since the first Cyprus Conference in 2004. The theme of "European Perpetrators and Victims" impacts deeply my life experience and identity. I am a leadership, management and organisational consultant. My background is in Political Science, Organisational Theory, Psycho-Social Studies and Group Relations.
M Fakhry Davids is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst who lives and practices in London. He is a Fellow of the British Psychoanalytic Society, a Supervising and Training Analyst of the Institute of Psychoanalysis, and a Member of the Tavistock Society of Psychotherapists. He is a South African who was formerly Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Cape Town, and continues to contribute to working with the legacy of apartheid in South Africa, drawing on the Group Relations Model. He has also held a number of clinical posts, is currently a Visiting Lecturer at the Tavistock Clinic, and regularly contributes to trainings in London and works with colleagues abroad. He is a Founding Board Member of PCCA and has worked extensively on the psychology of racism. His book Internal Racism: A Psychoanalytic Approach to Race and Difference was published in 2011.
I began my professional career in adult education, focusing on the interrelatedness of private and socio-political life and applying my understanding of political responsibility, gained through learning about National Socialism, World War II and the Holocaust. I came to value psychoanalysis and its contribution to understanding unconscious aspects of group processes and family dynamics. After training as a psychoanalyst and an organisational consultant, I attended the first Nazareth Conference, which had a lasting impact on my understanding of being a “second generation” German. Since 2000, I was on the staff of the Nazareth and Cyprus conferences. I am a Founding Member and current Chairperson of Partners in Confronting Collective Atrocities (PCCA).
I was born and grew in Nazareth, Israel, where I attended a Christian school. After graduation I decided to study Social Work in order to help and influence people. During my studies I began to ask myself questions regarding my identity. The answers were not easy to find, so I made a very long journey to try to make sense of some of the questions and perhaps to find answers.
In the course of this journey I attended the Cyprus conference, where I had an opportunity to explore my own identity, its complexes and uniqueness. I learned a great deal, but there are still some pieces to be discovered.
I enjoy working with people and love to be part of their work and life. I am privileged to work with prisoners and with groups and children, and most of all, to be an OFEK Board Member.
Ross A. Lazar is a Tavistock-trained psychoanalytic child and adolescent psychotherapist working with children, adolescents, adults, couples and families in Munich, Germany. He is a consultant and supervisor to many organizations and institutions, both profit and non-profit, predominantly in Germany and Austria. He teaches both clinical work and organizational topics and is occasional guest professor at the Institute for Research and Further Education (IFF) in Vienna and Klagenfurt, the University of Vienna as well as having served as a clinical supervisor at INSEAD.
In the 1980's he founded the Wilfred R. Bion Forum for the Furtherance of Psychoanalysis, and was founder member of MundO (Menschen undOrganisationen), together with a group of colleagues dedicated to providing opportunities for Tavistock Group Relations work in German-speaking Europe.
His recent activities include the furthering of the theory and practice of Organisational Observation through workshops at ISPSO Symposia in Stockholm and Toledo, for a group of psychologists and psychotherapists in Gothenburg, at the Tavistock sponsored conference "From Baby to Boardroom", and with PhD students in Organisational Psychology at the University of London's Birkbeck College. He has participated as a staff member in OFEK's International Group Relations Conference, the A.K. Rice International Conference, and directed a Group Relations Conference for the Deutsche Psychoanalytische Gesellschaft (DPG).
After graduating in Psychology I worked as a Clinical Psychologist in a center for families and children. After completing my psychoanalytic training in Frankfurt (Sigmund Freud Institute) I went into private practice, working with adult patients and doing supervision.
I have been on the staff of all the “Nazareth Conferences” (except for Kliczkow), in which Israeli psychoanalysts together with German analysts started to think about how to work on the aftermath of the Holocaust and decided on the Tavistock model of Group Relations conferences. Hermann Beland encouraged me to learn about these conferences in Leichester. Being born during WW II, I grew up in an environment in which German atrocities were not mentioned, though I heard a lot about German suffering.
Listening to the narrative of the other and being heard is an important issue in these conferences in whichever role one works. I learned a lot about myself as well as to what I “turned a deaf ear”, last but not least to Palestinian suffering.
Allan Shafer has over 35 years’ experience as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist and a socio-analyst. Originally trained in South Africa, he has worked primarily in private practice and organisational consultancies in Johannesburg, Perth (Western Australia) and Melbourne. He has a particular interest in the unconscious dynamics of the therapeutic relationship and of organisational and social systems. He is an associate of Innovative Practice Organisational Consultants, Melbourne.
He is President of Group Relations Australia and a member of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organisations. He is past President of the Association for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy of Western Australia and a member of the Victorian Association for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. He was an executive member of the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Association of Australasia.
He has consulted to mental health, educational, religious and other NGO and private sector organisations in Australia, South Africa, Singapore and the USA and directed or consulted on the staff of Group Relations conferences in Australia, Israel, the UK and India.
He has a strong interest in applying socio-analytic and Group Relations frameworks for the betterment of society. From a childhood in South Africa under the Apartheid regime and with paternal and maternal ancestry who fled Lithuania to escape persecution, he has a strong interest in working against persecution and in understanding the psychodynamics of discrimination, racism and persecution.
I am a psychologist, certified trainer and OD consultant specializing in professional role development, problem solving and team coaching; Content Director and Board Member of Jagiellonian University Extension (Kraków, Poland). I am Member and National Representative of OPUS, Member of ISPSO, Co-Organizer (with OPUS) of GR Conferences in Poland since 2009.
I have worked with groups and organizations for over 15 years. The initial source of my curiosity and passion arose from the cognitive psychology background and psychodynamic training, which encouraged me to ask questions concerning people's behavior in groups and organizations. However, somehow I felt a dissonance between my thinking and the way I worked at the time. A few years ago I went back to my psychoanalytic roots and introduced the application of systemic-psychodynamic approach to groups and organizations. I found this tradition very valuable. I began cooperation with OPUS UK to support my team and myself in exploring this paradigm towards further development of my consultancy skills. Nowadays, my interests comprise a range of applications from within this method of working and identification of further applications and its benefits for groups and societies.