A Bridge Over Troubled Water: Conflicts and Reconciliation in Groups and Society

Book Announcement by Gila Ofer (Israel)

ofercoverimage1117wIn a world dominated by conflicts that rapidly turn into wars, this book presents a multi-faceted perspective on conflicts and their resolution that is applicable to individuals, groups and society. Published by Karnac for the European Federation for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (EFPP) Monograph Series (2017), A Bridge Over Troubled Water: Conflicts and Reconciliation in Groups and Society is a compilation of papers by different authors, among them Vamik Volkan, Robi Friedman, Haim Weinberg, and Michael Bucholz, with a foreword by Earl Hopper and an introduction by Gila Ofer, both editor and contributor.

While most of the writers are group analysts working in the tradition of Foulkes, several others come from different though complementary perspectives, enriching the theoretical basis of the research. So, there are perspectives, inter alia, from Bion and Cortesao. Several writers are also psychoanalysts. The writers represent different countries and cultures, focusing on problems that are endemic to their own localities that yet have a wider and deeper resonance. We are introduced to conflict and division in Bedouin society, the Roma people living in Greece, citizens’ reflective communities in Serbia, continuing territorial and ideological differences in Israel and the Middle East, and tensions of difference in the psychoanalytic community itself.

The book throws light on some of society’s most intractable problems, generating compassion and understanding in place of hatred and division. If we have mostly become wary of hope and optimism in an embattled world, the message that reconciliation and forgiveness are possible, and that there are practical steps to achieving this, rather than idle dreams, makes this an important book with relevance to all those trying to make sense of present times and finding their role as responsible citizens.


  1. Large-Group Trauma at the Hands of the “Other,” Transgenerational Transmissions, and Chosen Traumas
  1. Group Analysis on War and Peace
  1. Forgiving and Non-Forgiving in Group Analysis
  1. Conciliation and Comfort: Group Work with Bedouin Grandmothers
  1. Dealing with Conflicts, Rage, Anger, and Aggression in Group Analysis
  1. Conflicts and Social Transference in Groups
  1. “Untouchable Infant Gangs” in Group and Social Matrices as Obstacles to Reconciliation
  1. The Social Unconscious and Issues of Conflict and Reconciliation in Therapy
  1. Us and Them: An Object Relations Approach to Understanding the Dynamics of Inter-groups Conflicts
  1. Enemies’ Love Story: Reconciliation in the Presence of Foes
  1. Lines of Conflict in Psychoanalysis: Reconciliation in the Future?
  1. Psychoanalytic Approaches to Conflict Resolution: The Limits of Intersubjective Engagement

About the Editor:

Gila Ofer is a training psychoanalyst and group analyst, a founding member and past president of the Tel-Aviv Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis, and a founding member of the Israeli Institute of Group Analysis. She supervises and teaches at the Post- Graduate School for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Tel-Aviv University, and was chair of the group section and board member of the EFPP.

With contributions by Vamik Volkan, John Schlapobersky, Smadar Ben Asher, Wisam Maree, Isaura Manso Neto, Mario David, Klimis Navridis, Marina Mojović, Haim Weinberg, Uri Levin, Robi Friedman, Michael B. Buchholz, and Shlomit Yadlin-Gadot.

Link to publisher:  http://www.karnacbooks.com/product/a-bridge-over-troubled-water-conflicts-and-reconciliation-in-groups-and-society/40054/

Link to Karnacology blog post about book: http://www.karnacbooks.com/blog/post/a-bridge-over-troubled-water-conflicts-and-reconciliation-in-groups-and-society-by-gila-ofer/246

oferphoto1117wGila Ofer, PhD
Training Psychoanalyst,
Group Analyst TAICP, IIGA,
Tel Aviv University Program of Psychotherapy
EFPP coordinator of Eastern European Countries
Editor of the EFPP Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Review
Email Gila Ofer