Last updated: 22, Jan., 2009 

     THALASSA. Portolano of Psychoanalysis



NEWS 2008





"J'ai la honte" de Abram Coen


"Remémoration, traumatisme et mémoire collective - Le combat pour la emémoration en psychanalyse"  de W. Bohleber



"De quoi témoignent les mains des survivants? De l'anéantissement des vivants, de l'affirmation de la vie" de Janine Altounian

"Les cachés de la folie" de J.-P. Verot  

  "La difficoltà di dire io. L'esperienza del diario nel conflitto inter-jugoslavo di fine Novecento" di Nicole Janigro (source: "Frenis Zero" revue)


  "I Balcani" di Predrag Matvejevic (source:  "Frenis Zero" revue)

  "La Shoah e la distruttività umana" di A. A. Semi (source:   A.S.S.E.Psi. web site)

"Breve Storia della Psicoanalisi in Italia" di Cotardo Calligaris (source: A.S.S.E.Psi. web site)

"The Meaning of Medication in Psychoanalysis" by Salomon Resnik (source: A.S.S.E.Psi. web site)

"Note sulla storia italiana dell'analisi laica" di Giancarlo Gramaglia (source: "Frenis Zero" revue )

"Adriatico" di Predrag Matvejevic

"Mon Adriatique" de Predrag Matvejevic




Balkans        *Serbia (History of Psychoanalysis in)
Eastern Europe
• EU
• Italy
Turkey, Armenia and Caucasian Rep.
Tatiana Rosenthal and Russian Psychoanalysis

 History of Russian Psychoanalysis by Larissa Sazanovitch


- Syria

 - Jordan

- Lebanon


- Egypt 



- Algeria

- Libya



Questo testo è tratto dal discorso pronunciato da J.-P. Vernant (morto il 9.01.2007) nel 1999, in occasione del 50° anniversario del Consiglio d'Europa, e che è inscritto sul ponte che collega Strasburgo a Kehl:

<<Passare un ponte, traversare un fiume, varcare una frontiera, è lasciare lo spazio intimo e familiare ove si è a casa propria per penetrare in un orizzonte differente, uno spazio estraneo, incognito, ove si rischia - confrontati a ciò che è altro - di scoprirsi senza

 "luogo proprio", senza identità. Polarità dunque dello spazio umano, fatto di un dentro e di un fuori. Questo "dentro" rassicurante, turrito, stabile, e questo "fuori" inquietante, aperto, mobile, i Greci antichi hanno espresso sotto la forma di una coppia di divinità unite e opposte: Hestia e Hermes. Hestia è la dea del focolare, nel cuore della casa. Tanto Hestia è sedentaria, vigilante sugli esseri umani e le ricchezze che protegge, altrettanto Hermes è nomade, vagabondo: passa incessantemente da un luogo all'altro, incurante delle frontiere, delle chiusure, delle barriere. Maestro degli scambi, dei contatti, è il dio delle strade ove guida il viaggiatore, quanto Hestia mette al riparo tesori nei segreti penetrali delle case.  Divinità che si oppongono, certo, e che pure sono indissociabili. E' infatti all'altare della dea, nel cuore delle dimore private e degli edifici pubblici che sono, secondo il rito, accolti, nutriti, ospitati gli stranieri venuti di lontano. Perché ci sia veramente un "dentro", bisogna che possa aprirsi su un "fuori", per accoglierlo in sé. Così ogni individuo umano deve assumere la parte di Hestia e la parte di Hermes. Tra le rive del Medesimo e dell'Altro, l'uomo è un ponte>>.







 (in english)


"REMEMBERING, REPEATING AND NOT WORKING THROUGH: On the Interactability of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict"

by Hans-Jürgen  Wirth





Hans-Jürgen Wirth is a psychoanalyst and analytic family therapist practicing in own office.

Member of the German Psychoanalytical Association (DPV) and the International

Psychoanalytic Association (IPA). Professor of Psychoanalysis, with special emphasis of

prevention, psychotherapy, and psychoanalytic social psychology, at the Department of

Human and Health Sciences at the University of Bremen. University lecturer of

psychoanalysis, depth-psychologically founded psychotherapy and psychoanalytically

oriented family and social therapy at the “Institute for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy

Giessen e. V.,” an Institute of the German Psychoanalytical Association (DPV).

Publisher and owner of the publishing company Psychosozial-Verlag. Editor of the German

book series “Bibliothek der Psychoanalyse” (Psychosozial-Verlag), editor in chief of the

journal “psychosozial,” author of numerous articles and various books on the applications of

psychoanalysis. Recently published books: “9/11 as a Collective Trauma and other Essays on

Psychoanalysis ans Society” (The Analytic Press, ISBN 0-88163-434-4, e-mail:






When Anwar Sadat, the then-president of Egypt, made his historic visit to Israel in 1977, he declared that seventy percent of the problems between Arabs and Israelis are psychological.

However, both sides continued to ignore the emotional motivations and unconscious processes that fuel this conflict. What Carlo Strenger does and what we should do is trying to give answers to Sadat’s indirect invitation. Psychoanalysts have a lot to say about unconscious emotions on an individual level, but our job here is to develop a large group psychology by trying to understand the unconscious motives of both the leaders and their nations without assigning blame to any of them (Volkan 2004, Falk 2004, Wirth 2007).


The syndrome of fanaticism


Terrorists, in particular suicide murderers, are themselves fanatics and they are guided by fanatical leaders. In following Erich Fromm I want to emphasize the fanatic’s “passion” and “rashness,” on the basis of which he “uncompromisingly” and “rigidly” defends his “overrated idea” (Hole 1995, p. 37). The fanatic has killed off all feelings for other people and projected them to the party or group whose ideology seems reasonable to him. He idolizes the collective and its shared ideology, to which he has become enslaved. His complete submission under this idol creates a passion within him whose emotional quality Erich Fromm characterizes as “cold fire” and “burning ice,” as “passion lacking warmth.” “The fanatic acts, thinks, and feels on behalf of his idol” (1961, p. 61) and is prepared to sacrifice for it everything he still holds dear in life.

For example, the Palestinian Nizzar Iyan confessed in an interview with a German journalist that he found his greatest fulfillment in his sons’ sacrifice as suicide murderers in the fight against Israel. When his 17-year-old son Ibrahim actually took his life in a suicide bombing, his father said: “My son Ibrahim is dead. I never felt happier than at the moment, when they came and said: ‘The Jews killed your son.’” And when the interviewer asked, “But you, after all, are his father, you must feel pain,” the father replied, unmoved, “I am quite honest, I am saying this out of conviction, I do not feel grief, I feel joy, true joy, that my son has accomplished a part of what we believed in. Life has no savor when one cannot accomplish one’s dreams and one’s goals”.


Is this father one of those typical fanatics who “place ideas above people“, whose “dedication to ideas is abnormally powerful, while their dedication to people is strangely blocked or defective” (Hole 1995, p. 93)? “Theoretically speaking, the fanatic is a highly narcissistic personality” (Fromm, 1961, p. 61).


But is this really the whole story? I assume that this Palestinian father as an individual feels the same despair, pain, and grief as any other father when he heard of his son’s death. But besides being an individual, his feelings are influenced by the fact that he belongs to the national group of the Palestinians. His has not only an individual identity but also a collective identity. And this collective identity tells him that it is a great honor for him to sacrifice his son in the holy war. Especially in times of war, trauma, and anxiety, the fact of being part of a large group has an enormous impact on the feeling and thinking of the people.




How to become a terrorist?


We know a few things about the suicide murderers among the Palestinians. In particular, the young people who volunteer for suicide attacks have been subjected to constant traumatization from childhood. However wretched, miserable and bleak their own lives might be, an absolute identification with the ideals of the group compensates the individuals for their disgrace. “Social narcissism” – as Fromm pointed out (1964, pp. 62-94) provides an important prop for an individual’s feeling of self-worth.


Some of today’s Islamic terrorists may have been traumatized in refugee camps, recruited there by the various secret services, and raised and educated in special Koran schools and training camps. In the solitude of such camps, the communities function as family substitutes and their fanatical leaders as substitute parent figures so that children and adolescents develop an intense emotional and intellectual dependency.


This dynamic in particular applies to people living in refugee camps under miserable conditions for several generations, who are traumatized by the everyday presence of violent behavior. However, the New York terrorists of September 11were no Palestinians but well educated students.


As Otto Kernberg (2002) stresses, traumatization results not only from personally experienced violence but also from violent acts one has witnessed. Such processes have been going on in the Near East for decades. Through their collective identity, the Arabs feel close to the suffering of the Palestinian people. They sympathize with (which means originally: to suffer with) the Palestinians and have developed a collective hatred of Israel and the United States, and in part also of the Western World as a whole. Some individuals may feel a particular duty to support the Palestinians in their struggle against Israel and its powerful protector precisely due to their privileged position.


Even the German terrorists of the “Red Army Fraction” (RAF), who launched terrorist attacks on symbolic representatives of the government and the capitalist economic system during the 1970s, were people motivated by high moral principles and involved in various social projects before their violent activities. As I argued elsewhere, these German terrorists were “unconscious delegates” (Stierlin 1978) of their parents. In a certain sense they did not act voluntarily but unconsciously, on their parents’ behalf, caught up in a trans-generational conflict (Wirth 2007).


The Islamic terrorists joining the holy war are often caught up in a similar generational context: The privileged Arabic families, on the one hand, live with an almost unimaginable oil prosperity and enjoy the luxury of Western society, yet, on the other hand, support hatred against the West. This double standard presents a difficult conflict in the clash between the generations which is resolved in that the sons of economically privileged families, sometimes at the conscious and sometimes at the unconscious bidding of their parents, will join the holy war which their fathers only speak and dream of. Indeed, after September 11, much information has been found about terror groups being financially supported by numerous Islamic businessmen who successfully pursue their business in Europe and the United States and salve their Islamic consciences through such donations.


Let me finish with a remark on the parallels between Israelis and Palestinians: Both groups are traumatized survivors and refugees. Both groups suffer from deep collective narcissistic injuries. Both sides have good historical reasons for feeling an ownership of Israel or Palestine. Under the pressure of their bloody fight against one another that has been going on for decades, both groups have developed a paranoid attitude. The paranoid view of the world holds each group together like a fortress wall. From my point of view, there are two main psychological problems:


1. On the one hand, the paranoid world view is a defense mechanism and, on the other hand, it is anchored in reality. This means that one can find very good reasons for paranoid world view. And this means that it is very difficult to change such a paranoid world view.

2. Each side gives the other side good reasons to adhere to its own policy. Both sides interact in a way psychoanalytic couple therapists describe as collusion; this means an unconscious interplay of two partners who have chosen themselves and make such a good team that they – in a way – complement one another. Sadists and masochists are such a complementary collusive couple. The narcissistic collusion is also very common.

“It is very hard for traumatized people in their emotional pain to be aware of the pain of others and to empathize with them” (Falk 2004, p. 90). Perhaps we can discuss what psychoanalysts can contribute to find a way out of this collusive destructive interaction.





Falk, A. (2004): Fratricide in the Holy Land. A Psychoanalytic View of the Arab-Israeli

Conflict. Madison, Wisconsin (The University of Wisconsin Press).

Fromm, E. (1961): May Man Prevail? An Inquiry into the Facts and Fictions of Foreign

Policy. New York (Doubleday). [Quotations are own translations from the German edition:

Den Vorrang hat der Mensch! Ein sozialistisches Manifest und Programm. In: GA, Bd. V, p.


Fromm E. (1964): The Heart of Man. Its Genius for Good and Evil. New York (Harper and


Hole, G. (1995): Fanatismus. Der Drang zum Extrem und seine psychologischen Wurzeln.

Gießen (Psychosozial-Verlag).

Kernberg, O. F. (2002): “Sanctioned Social Violence.” In: International Journal of

Psychoanalysis 84 (2003): pp. 683–698, 953–968.

Stierlin, H. (1978): Delegation und Familie. Beiträge zum Heidelberger Familiendynamischen

Konzept. Frankfurt a. M. (Suhrkamp).



Volkan, V. (2004). Blind Trust. (Pitchstone Publishing). German Edition: Volkan, V. (2005):

Blindes Vertrauen. Großgruppen und ihre Führer in Krisenzeiten. Gießen (Psychosozial-


Wirth, H.-J. (2005): 9/11 as a Collective Trauma and other Essays on Psychoanalysis and

Society, NJ (The Analytic Press/Psychosozial-Verlag).

Wirth, H.-J. (2007): Narcissism and Power. On the Psychoanalysis of Mental Disorders in

Politics. Gießen (Psychosozial-Verlag). [forthcoming]




    english version

  version française in italiano
"THALASSA. Portolano of Psychoanalysis" is a co-production of "Penta Editions" (Dir. Cosimo Trono) and "Frenis Zero" revue (Dir. Giuseppe Leo) and it would be an attempt to link psychoanalysts and psychotherapists, belonging to the Mediterranean countries. Why would we put the Mediterranean Sea at the centre of attention of psychoanalytic culture? Because it continues keeping , in spite of a time of globalisation of human, cultural and economic exchanges, a central role of hinge between West and East, between cultural patterns dramatically faced with the contemporary problem of sharing universalizable patterns of "humanitas" and civilization. Psychoanalysis, with its group and mass-psychology functioning theories, can help in understanding the anthropological transformations concerning human societies and social institutions in the contemporary world. Our preminent interest is focused on the transformations regarding the cultural "koiné" that has been historically configured as mediterranean, and, moreover,  on the way psychoanalysis can provide interpretative means to investigate them thoroughly. Linking each other  psychoanalysts who, in spite of their different professional backgrounds, share a common belonging to the same cultural milieu, means consulting those who think about such changes from a point of view in which psychoanalysis keeps a preminent role. The means to create this link  would be the traditional ones (through international congresses and colloques), but also those provided by  internet and new communication technologies. "THALASSA. Portolano of Psychoanalysis" est une co-production de "Penta Editions" (Dir. Cosimo Trono) et de la revue "Frenis Zero" (Dir. Giuseppe Leo), née avec le but de mettre en réseau psychanalystes et psychothérapeutes provenants de Pays  Méditerranéens. Pourquoi voulons nous  mettre la Mer Méditerranéenne au centre de l'attention de la culture psychanalytique? Parce que celle-ci continue à tenir, bien que dans une époque de mondialisation des échanges humaines, culturels et économiques, un role central de charnière entre Occident et Orient, entre patterns culturels  dramatiquement confrontés avec la question toute contemporaine de partager de patterns universalisables de "humanitas" et de civilisation. La psychanalyse, avec ses theories du fonctionnement groupal et  des masses, peut nous aider à mieux comprendre les transformations anthropologiques concernantes les sociétés humaines et les institutions sociales dans le monde contemporain. Notre prééminent interet est concentré sur les transformations qui regardent cette koiné culturelle qui historiquement  s'est formée comme mediterraneenne , et sur le comment la psychanalyse peut donner des outils interpretatifs pour approfondir la connaissance de celles-ci. Mettre en liaison des psychanalystes qui, malgré les différentes traditions professionnelles de provenance, partagent l'appartenance au meme milieu méditerranéen,  veut dire interpeller ceux qui réfléchent sur tels changements à partir d'une perspective où la psychanalyse garde une place prééminente. Les moyens pou créer tel réseau seraient ceux traditionnels (séminaires et colloques internationaux), mais aussi innovateurs comme ceux-ci donnés par internet et les nouvelles technologies de communication.  "THALASSA. Portolano of Psychoanalysis" è una co-produzione di "Penta Editions" (Dir. Cosimo Trono) e della rivista "Frenis Zero" (Dir. Giuseppe Leo), nel tentativo di mettere in rete psicoanalisti e psicoterapeuti provenienti dai paesi del Mediterraneo. Perché porre il Mediterraneo al centro dell'attenzione della cultura psicoanalitica?  Perché esso continua ad avere, pur in un'epoca di globalizzazione di scambi umani, culturali ed economici,  quel ruolo centrale di cerniera tra Occidente ed Oriente, tra patterns culturali  messi drammaticamente a confronto con la  problematica contemporanea della condivisione di modelli universalizzabili di "humanitas" e di civiltà. La psicoanalisi,  con le sue teorie sul funzionamento dei gruppi e della psicologia  delle masse, può agevolare la comprensione delle trasformazioni antropologiche  che riguardano le società umane  e le istituzioni sociali nel mondo contemporaneo. Il nostro precipuo interesse è concentrato sulle trasformazioni che hanno per oggetto quella  koiné culturale che storicamente si è configurata come 'mediterranea', e su come la psicoanalisi possa fornire strumenti interpretativi per approfondire  la conoscenza di esse. Porre in collegamento tra di loro gli psicoanalisti che, pur nella diversità delle tradizioni professionali di provenienza, condividono  l'appartenenza al medesimo milieu mediterraneo, significa interpellare coloro che riflettono su tali rivolgimenti da una prospettiva in cui la psicoanalisi mantiene un ruolo preminente. Gli strumenti per creare tale rete saranno quelli tradizionali (attraverso dei seminari e dei congressi internazionali), ma anche quelli innovativi offerti da  internet e dalle nuove tecnologie di comunicazione.





A (Aberastury-Avunculo)
B-C (Babinski-Cura)
D- E (Dador de la mujer-Ey Henri)
F- G (Fachinelli Elvio-Guilbert Yvette)
H-I (Haas Ladislav-Italia)
J-M (Jackson John- Myers F.W.H.)
N- O (Naesgaard Sigurd-Otsuki K.)
P (Pacto denegativo-Putnam)






Cosimo Trono - psychanalyste, énseignant Univ. Paris XIII, directeur Editions "Penta" telecharger  le catalogue

Giuseppe Leo - psichiatra, Centro Psicoterapia Dinamica (Lecce- Italia), editor "Frenis Zero" click here

Comité scientifique/Comitato Scientifico/Scientific Board:

Abram Coen (Paris) psychiatre, chef du service secteur infanto-juvenil Paris-Nord,  directeur collection "Psychanalyse, Médecine et Societé" chez Penta Editions.

Nicole Janigro (Milano) psicoanalista junghiana, nata a Zagabria, collabora a progetti di formazione legati al tema dell’ elaborazione del conflitto, rivolti a volontari e operatori attivi sul campo nelle aree di crisi della ex Jugoslavia. Ha in corso una ricerca su sogno e guerra. 












Copyright © 2007-2008-2009 Cosimo Trono and Giuseppe Leo All Rights Reserved  : "Thalassa. Portolano of Psychoanalysis" is a co-production of "Editions Penta"(59, rue Saint-André des-Arts,, Paris VI, tel./fax: (0033)0143257761) and "Frenis Zero" revue (Ce.Psi.Di.: viale Gallipoli, 29- 73100 Lecce- Italia- tel. (0039)3386129995)