In dialogue with the most famous myth for the origin of different languages – The Tower of Babel – A Psychoanalytic Exploration on Sameness and Otherness: Beyond Babel? provides a series of timely reflections on the themes of sameness and otherness from a contemporary psychoanalytic perspective. How are we dealing with communication and its difficulties, the confusion of tongues and loss of common ground within a European context today? Can we move beyond Babel?
Confusion and feared loss of shared values and identity are a major part of the daily work of psychoanalytic psychotherapists. Bringing together an international range psychoanalytic practitioners and researchers, the book is divided into six parts and covers an array of resonant topics, including: language and translation; cultural identity; families and children; the cyber world; the psychotherapeutic process; and migration. Whereas the quest for unity, which underpins the myth of Babel, leads to mystification, simplification, and the exclusion of people or things, multilingual communities necessitate mutual understanding through dialogue. This book examines those factors that further or threaten communication, aiming not to reduce, but to gain complexity. It suggests that diversification enriches communication and that, by relating to others, we can create something new.
As opposed to cultural and linguistic homogeneity, Babel is not only a metaphor for mangled communication, alienation, and distraction, it is also about the acceptance or rejection of differences between self and other. This book will be of great interest to psychoanalytic psychotherapists and researchers from a wide variety of backgrounds.
Part One: Translating, Understanding and Language Confusion; Chapter 1. Inside Babel by Anna Ursula Dreher; Chapter 2. The Gift of Babel by Jan Philipp Reemtsma; Chapter 3. Longing for Connection by Antje v. Boettiche; Part Two: Cultural Identity and Accepting Otherness; Chapter 4. What Arab and Jewish School Counsellors Remember from Within-Group Diversit in Academia and How it Affects their work by Ariela Bairey Ben Ishayand Lori Greenberger; Chapter 5. Women Today: When Equality turns into a Trap by Daniela Lucarelli and Gabriela Tavazza; Part Three: Families and Children at Risk; Chapter 6. Psychoanalytic Family Therapy of Anoraxia Nervosa by Guenter Reich and Antje von Boetticher; Chapter 7. Hello/ Goodbye New Families! Group Work with Looked After Siblings by Heather Lee Messner and Elizabeth Stevenson; Chapter 8. The Creation of Identity. The Way to Gender Distinction and Identy in the Family by Anne Loncan; Chapter 9. Misunderstanding and Confusion: Educational and Psychotherapeutic Work in a Kindergarden. An Outreach Project by Christiane Ludwig-Koerner; Part Four: Cyber: New Forms of Communication; Chapter 10. Zoom, Skype, the Uncanny Third Ones and Psychotherapy by Irmgard Dettbarn; Chapter 11. Like or Dislike: Questions and Challenges in the Consulting Room of a 'Society 2.0' by Angelo Bonaminio, Domenico Scaringi, Giusy Spagna; Part Five: Babel in Psychotherapy; Chapter 12. Is there a Thing like 'Psychoanalytic Identity'?: Towards a Theory of Individualized Interaction in our Sessions by Michael B. Buchholz; Chapter 13. Is Psychoanalysis in a State of 'Babylonian Confusion'? by Heinrich Deserno; Chapter 14. Linguistic Confusion in the Psychoanalytic Process: About Understanding and Communication by Anne Laimboeck; Chapter 15. ‘To Hear Significance is to Translate' (George Steiner). Psychoanalytic Considerations about Capabilities and Limitations of Translation Processes in Literary and Clinical Work by Angela Mauss-Hanke; Chapter 16. Sameness and Otherness in a Group Supervision Experience by Annarita D’Uva , Loreta Negro, Maria Carmela Schiavone, Alessia Serra, and Ludovica Grassi; Chapter 17. Psychic Deadness in the Consulting Room: The Role of Vitalizing Supervision by Effie Layou-Lignos: and Vassiliki Vassilopoulou; Chapter 18. Lost and Gained in Translation. Language Choice, Triangulation and Transference with Biligual Patients by Annette Byford; Part Six: Migration; Chapter 19. 'So They walked Behind Their Words': Language and Sense of Self in the Process of Migration by Gisela Zeller-Steinbrich; Chapter 20. Quest for Identity. Borderland Adolescents with Migration Background by Annette Streeck-Fischer; Chapter 21. An Unequal Matrix: Western Germans, Eastern Germans, Migrants by Jens Preil; Chapter 22. Accepting otherness to find sameness: when a Jewish child realizes that the therapist is an Arab by Caesar Hakim