Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 384–400 | Cite as

Where the Holocaust and Al-Nakba Met: Radioactive identifications and the psychoanalytic frame

  • Lama Z. Khouri
Original Article


The author, who is of Palestinian heritage, revisits her treatment with a Jewish analyst, who is the offspring of Holocaust survivors. She demonstrates how the transference-countertransference matrix was both constructed and compromised by politics and intergenerational trauma, some aspects of which remained unconscious, others conscious; some of which were enacted, others analyzed. The analytic scene was a microcosm of world events in which “radioactive identifications” (Gampel, 1993, 1998; Gampel and Mazor, 2004) with political and historical issues affected the psychoanalytic situation, resulting in repeated enactments and, finally, an impasse that led to the premature termination of the treatment.


psychoanalytic frame radioactive identifications intergenerational trauma holocaust Al-Nakba 


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.New YorkUSA

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