Psychotherapy with the adolescent children of concentration camp survivors
The offspring of people who have experienced overwhelming physical and mental trauma may themselves manifest some of the aftereffects of their parents' trauma. Some children of survivors manifest aspects of their parents' survivor syndrome. These children appear depressed, withdrawn and have difficulty establishing and maintaining interpersonal relationships. In psychotherapy, an important focus is helping the patient establish an identity that is free of the persecutory and depressive elements of the survivor syndrome. Crucial aspects of psychotherapy with survivors' children involve helping the patient deal with the emotional impoverishment and depression of his parents and alleviating resulting guilt feelings. A therapeutic approach that is both nurturant and firm seems essential to provide restitution for the affectional deprivation and to set limits for the survivors' child. Of important concern for the therapist are countertransference attitudes which may lead to rejecting the adolescent.
KeywordsPublic Health Social Psychology Therapeutic Approach Interpersonal Relationship Important Concern
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