A House Divided Against Itself?

Europe and many parts of the world are experiencing tension, fear and unrest caused by the surfacing and eruption of new and old threats: financial uncertainty and crisis, religious and ethnic intolerance, waves of legal and illegal immigration, and minorities that claim autonomy and political recognition. This unrest has increasingly given rise to hatred, violence and attacks against those perceived as “others”. We believe that such attacks stem largely from feeling that one’s own identity and cultural safety are threatened.

This conference explores the sources for such feelings and what contributes to their violent expression in action. The approach is based on the application of Group Relations methodology, which aims to explore and understand social processes through the experience of conference participants, assisted by an experienced international staff. It is a continuation of PCCA’s work with Germans and Israelis, as well as with Palestinians and Others.

Shmuel Erlich, Conference Director

Leslie Brissett JP, PhD, MSc, BSc (Hons)

I was born in the Bearstead Memorial Hospital for Jewish Mothers in London. My parents had emigrated to London from Jamaica, each having a family history of mixed cultural and racial heritage.

I have had a lifelong interest in health, in its broadest sense, and have studied and worked in public health and community development, with specialisms in social policy, systems psychodynamics and organisational theory.

My sense of career changed when I encountered Group Relations through The Grubb institute and it’s Being-Meaning-Engaging series. From there I began consulting with The Grubb and The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations (TIHR). I found a home at TIHR, and continued to work in Group Relations conferences in the UK and abroad: Israel’s OFEK, Lithuania, Germany and the USA. I will be the Director of the 70th Leicester Conference in August 2016.

With Dr Mannie Sher I Co-Direct the Dynamics at Board Level and the Dynamics of Peace. I am an ordained Interfaith Minister, and rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition, I hold the Priesthood in the Mormon Church.

I look forward to working with the issues that emerge in the House Divided conference in 2016.

M. Fakhry Davids, MSc., TQAP

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.

Shmuel Erlich, PhD

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) and PCCA (Partners in Confronting Collective Atrocities). 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. He has served eight terms on the Board of the International Psychoanalytic Association and currently chairs its Task Force on Institutional Issues, newly instituted to explore organizational and group dynamic issues. 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).

Veronika Grueneisen, PhD

began her professional career in adult education, focusing on the interrelatedness of private and

socio-political life and applying her understanding of political responsibility, gained through learning about National Socialism, World War II and the Holocaust. She 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, she attended the first Nazareth Conference, which had a lasting impact on her understanding of being a “second generation” German. Since 2000, she was on the staff of the Nazareth and Cyprus conferences. She is a founding member and current chairperson of Partners in Confronting Collective Atrocities (PCCA).

Olya Khaleelee

has a German Jewish and Persian Moslem heritage.  She is a corporate psychologist and organisational consultant, working with senior managers and organisations in transition.  She has had a long association with the Tavistock Institute, was the first female director of the Tavistock Leicester Conference, the first Director of OPUS:  an Organisation for Promoting Understanding of Society, and is a past Chairwoman of the London Centre for Psychotherapy.

Dr Nadine Riad Tchelebi

was born in Germany but given that her entire family is from Syria, she refers to herself as Arabic-German. She is also interested in the study of intercultural tolerance due to the circumstances of her upbringing. Nadine is a Senior Lecturer at the Bristol Business School, University of the West of England. Her main research interest focuses on unconscious group dynamics and how these conglomerate to shape organisational leadership. She is passionate about helping teams and their leaders to understand what is really going on when collaborating and is currently engaged in numerous regional and international research projects where she does exactly that. Nadine has had versatile opportunities working with individuals and groups alike in experiential workshops of different designs. She is member of OPUS and ISPSO and also the UK Editor of the international journal ‘Organisational and Social Dynamics’.

Allan Shafer, MA (Clinical Psychology), D Litt et Phil

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 past-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.

Yael Sharon, MA

Born and raised in Israel I knew that my grandparents on my father’s side were Holocaust survivors. It didn’t have much effect on me until my early teens, when I saw an Israeli documentary film called “Because of That War.” Since then, a complex relationship was built between the memory of the war and my deepest fantasy world. After completing my army service I studied for a BA in psychology and sociology, where I learned for the first time about Israel’s role as an occupying country. Till then I only knew was that Israel has been the victim since the beginning of its history and still is, doing everything it can to protect itself. At that point I started raising questions regarding the narrative I was taught.

In the past 10 years, since I graduated from my MA in Medical Psychology, I work as a medical psychologist in a leading hospital with patients and the medical staff.

Four years ago I participated in a Group Relations conference in Israel. The themes I encountered enabled me to expand my working tools in my professional and personal life.

Two years ago I was a member in the conference “European Perpetrators and Victims Then and Now.” I was not certain about the relevance of the conference to my life and work when I arrived. To my surprise, my conference experience not only expanded my perspectives, but also paved the way to new professional opportunities, such as doing Group Relation work in PHR (Physicians for Human Rights) Israel.

I look forward to taking the role of Administrator in the upcoming conference.

Iwona Sołtysińska, MA

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

Dorothee C. von Tippelskirch-Eissing, PhD

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.

For any questions please contact:

Geber+Reusch, Brigitte Reusch, Habichtsweg 11, D-60437 Frankfurt
Phone: +49 (0) 69 50 52 39
Email: [email protected]

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