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Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute & Society

28th Annual Symposium (2003) - Violence, Vulnerability and Keeping Hope Alive in the Wake of Trauma

March 8, 2003
Annual Symposium

“Anything that encourages the growth of emotional ties between (people) must operate against war.”
—Sigmund Freud, 1932, in correspondence with Albert Einstein, Why War?

Violent trauma by its very nature shakes our world, strains our ties to the future and brings us closer to our vulnerabilities. Fears and memories of dread and loss lay in its wake. We are terrified by the destructive forces fueled by malignant hate, forces that are both personal and social. Prejudices and fear simmer and brew and yet, the drive to restore hope animates us. The polarities of love and destruction are amplified by such trauma.

This century was ushered in by an act of unimagined human destruction on September 11, 2001. Our borders have never been so breached. Columbine, Oklahoma City, The Unabomber, the Sniper, and other acts of violence are also etched in the memories of this generation. The aim of the 2003 Symposium is to explore the psychology of hatred and violence. We will examine the psychic impact of extreme violence, how it is manifest in the therapeutic dyad and how, through the treatment process, hate is understood and transformed.

Moderator Nancy Kulish, Ph.D. is President of the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute where she is a Training and Supervising Analyst. She has published extensively in the area of gender and has been involved in many community outreach problems of the Michigan Psychoanalytic Foundation. Most recently she has consulted with a center for victims of political torture.

Stuart Twemlow, M.D. is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Kansas and faculty member of the Psychiatry Department at Harvard Medical School. He has published widely in areas such as school violence, violence prevention in communities and altered states of consciousness. He is an international lecturer on the physical and psychological aspects of violence and has been appointed to the Academic Advisory Council of the United States Presidential Campaign Against Violence.

Mary Ann Levy, M.D. is in private practice of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy of children, adolescents, and adults and is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Denver Psychoanalytic Institute and Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado Health Services Center. She took the lead in working closely with the children, the families, and the faculty of the Columbine High School shootings.

Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, Ph.D. is a two-time award winning biographer for her Hannah Arendt: For the Love of the World and Anna Frend: A Biography. She is also a novelist, and nonfiction writer on subjects such as prejudice and “Cherishment Culture.” She is on the faculty of the Columbia Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research. She was awarded the Viola Bernard Fund for Psychoanalytic Research along with her study group of ten highly accomplished analysts to study the impact of 9/11 from psychoanalytic perspective.