The People behind PCCA

Partners in Confronting Collective Atrocities works towards developing strategies to engage with the internal legacy of past atrocities that can contribute to opening up the possibility of a more hopeful future
The aim of the organization is to work through the effects of the Holocaust and of national and international conflicts that lead to destructive escalation, in the service of a better understanding among the nations worldwide.



PCCA is a resource of expertise for addressing these issues, in various ways:

  • Organising conferences with a given setting and methodology
  • Continuing to develop our own learning about this work
  • Writing articles
  • Publishing books
  • Giving presentations about experiential and theoretical aspects of our work
  • Developing a training programme which will enable others to gain expertise in this work
  • Supporting others to develop this kind of work, elsewhere.

PCCA Role holders

About Us

The Holocaust appears to have cast a very long shadow, its most immediate impact being to poison the relationship between Germans and Jews. It was hoped that once the full extent of the genocide that lay at the heart of the Nazi project, together with details of the many levels of atrocity associated with it, were fully exposed, their sheer horror would contribute to a determination never again to allow such trains of events to be set in motion. Sadly, this hope has not been realized. Since the end of World War II we have witnessed worldwide, seemingly unstoppable cycles of inter-group hatred and violence - ethnic, religious and cultural. Are we doomed to repeat these destructive patterns endlessly, or is it possible to engage with the legacy of the past in such a way that it opens up the possibility of a better future.

Partners in Confronting Collective Atrocities is an organization that works towards developing strategies to engage with the legacy of past and present atrocities so as to open up possibilities for a more hopeful future. It grew out of the recognition of a group of German and Israeli psychoanalytic colleagues that their ability to relate to and to work with the Other was seriously constrained by the legacy of the Holocaust. Unconscious hatred on the part of victims and their descendants, and guilt on the part of the descendents of perpetrators, seemed to live on as insurmountable obstacles. Could a setting be devised where such forces could be engaged honestly and safely? Would such an engagement make a difference?

Experiential working conferences - sometimes referred to as The "Nazareth" Conferences after the venue of the first ones - began as a response to this challenge. The Tavistock Group Relations model, which integrates psychoanalytic and systems approaches, was specially adapted to create a setting in which experiences relating to the Holocaust that are ordinarily disowned could be discovered, voiced and comprehended. For each group the physical presence of the other served to bring to the fore complex and difficult feelings that included painful and entrenched group enmity, hatred, prejudice, cruel persecution and unbearable shame and guilt; once in the open they became available to be worked on. The work that takes place is therefore intensely personal, forging new bonds of trust across old divides, and allowing participants to examine the ways in which the legacy of the past, alive within, bedevils the current relationships of individuals and groups.

Developing insight into how the burdens of the past are alive within us, within the experiential conference setting, has helped many individuals to move on to a more hopeful future. We believe that such individual movement fosters group movement, and PCCA's experiential conferences will continue to serve these aims. In addition to the German/Jewish core issues, however, there has been a growing awareness of the need to work on newly invoked enmities (e.g., Arab/Jew; Muslim/Jew-Christian; Palestinian/Israeli), which have particular urgency in light of the dangerous escalation of armed conflict in our world. The model we have developed has been used also to work on “the tense triangle” (Bar-On) of Germans, Israelis and Palestinians today, including Others, to shed light on what is going on, and to contribute towards building a better future.


Advisory Board


Anton Obholzer

BSc. M.B.Ch.B. F.R.C. Senior Faculty member Insead Global Leadership Centre, Paris, France; Founder / Director Tavistock Centre Consulting to Institutions Workshop 1980-2002; Director / Chief Executive Tavistock Centre, London 1985-2002. Visiting Professor Universities of Vienna and Graz, Austria. Chairman Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology, London.




Edward R Shapiro MD

Dr. Shapiro is the Former Medical Director/CEO of the Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge, MA. A board certified psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, family researcher, and organizational consultant, he is also Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine, and on the faculty at Harvard Medical School. A Founding Member of the Psychoanalytic Society and Institute of the Berkshires, Dr. Shapiro is a Training and Supervising Analyst. An organizational consultant for over twenty-five years, Dr. Shapiro has consulted with hospitals, mental health clinics, law firms, and family businesses. Dr. Shapiro has published over fifty articles and book chapters on human development, organizational and family functioning, and personality disorders, presenting papers in the country and abroad. A Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, he is also a Fellow of the A.K. Rice Institute and the American College of Psychoanalysis. Dr. Shapiro has received the Felix and Helene Deutsch Scientific Award from the Boston Psychoanalytic Society, the Research Prize from the Society for Family Therapy and Research, and the Philip Isenberg Teaching Award from McLean Hospital. In 2007, he was named Outstanding Psychiatrist for Advancement of the Profession by the Massachusetts Psychiatric Association and in 2011 was named in US News & World Report's list of "Top Doctors".


Olya Khaleelee

M.A. Corporate Psychologist, Pintab Associates;  Associate, The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations;  Organisational Consultant;  Past Director of OPUS:  an Organisation for  Promoting Understanding in Society.




Ross A. Lazar

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 und Organisationen), 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).




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PCCA Board