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דיווח על פרוייקט ההכשרה שלנו בז׳ורנל הבין-לאומי לפסיכואנליזה זוגית ומפחתית

עודכן: 7 באפר׳ 2021

The International Institute for Psychoanalytic Couple and Family Training in Israel and the International psychotherapy Institute

(IPI) in Washington: A Collaborative Training Effort

Hanni Mann-Shalvi

Published in: Couple and Family Psychoanalysis 3(2) 267–271 (2013)

Copyrighted Material. For use only by Hanni MS. Reproduction prohibited. Usage subject to PEP

terms & conditions (see

Working with children, adolescents, couples, and families presents a set of unique challenges and opportunities for the practicing clinician. In Israel, we offer three years’ advanced training, applying object relations theory to couple and family work. Our students enroll in IPI’s certificate program for psychoanalytic couple therapy, which requires six terms’ foundational course work, three supervised clinical cases, attendance at two summer institutes, and a clinical presentation. Additionally, students must participate in their own psychotherapy or analysis at least twice weekly. The program provides further outreach through seminars and conferences at worldwide locations and institutional partnerships with other associations, such as The Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships (TCCR) and the

International Couple and Family Association.

The international video course

There is no doubt that the highlight of the program is the international video course, chaired by David Scharff and Janine Wanlass. Hosted by IPI and co-sponsored by TCCR, it first began in 2009. Israelis may join others living outside Israel for the course via phone, Skype, or video link at select locations, or their own computers. At an agreed time (perhaps early

morning for some, and evening for others), the television screen is divided, so that in every square a different group from another part of the world enters a virtual room; people from Washington, DC, Indianapolis, Long Island, Omaha, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Panama, London, Tel-Aviv, and elsewhere.

Groups of qualified students throughout the world attend the two hours lecture, becoming involved in a lively discussion that transcends geographic boundaries. The lecturers are leading practitioners and theoreticians in psychoanalytic couple and family therapy, such as David Scharff, Jill Scharff, Christopher Clulow, Carl Bagnini, David Hewison, Norma Caruso, Christopher Vincent, Christel Buss-Twachtmann, Mary Morgan, and me. When clinical cases are presented, the presenter can be in one continent and the discussant in another.

Being able to study with such wide international community and with the leading theoreticians in the psychoanalytic couple field is an exciting and meaningful experience for Israelis. Living in a small country, the opportunity to find ourselves in an open space connected with the world is a very special experience, opening for us a new potential space that can be transferred to the therapeutic arena. In the summer, we meet face to face at conferences. The feeling is of meeting known colleagues and sometime good friends with whom we spent time during the year.

The Israeli unit: “The Israeli Unconscious—from the couple and the family perspective”

To make the program more culturally applicable, another course was added for Israeli students, “The Israeli Unconscious”. I should explain its relevance. Israel is a very small country, with a population of 7.5 million. Since its foundation in 1948, it has remained in a continuous state of war and conflict. This experience is absorbed into the conscious and unconscious

layers of the Israeli personality from a very early age, through holidays and memorial days commemorated and celebrated in private and social circles, in the educational system, and in the media. It shapes the conscious and unconscious inter-subjective and intra-subjective emotional dynamic. It influences all areas of life, including parenthood in general, and parenting of boys especially, because of their future military draft. This anxiety penetrates couple relationships. Consequently, the emotional burden of the Holocaust is interwoven with the emotional weight of this later anxiety (Mann-Shalvi, 2006, 2007). At the same time, and maybe because of it, ours is a vibrant society that sanctifies life and emphasizes the joy of growth and development.

All of the above became entangled in the self-definition of the Israeli existence. I believe that it is most important for us, as Israeli psychoanalytic therapists, to be aware of the hidden emotional dynamic evolving in Israel, to be able to identify its sometimes-misleading paths into the personality and couple and family relationships, and to integrate it with psychoanalytic

knowledge. The “Israeli Unconscious” course opens a potential space for touching those complex “heavy” issues from within, linking it to the clinic and literature, allowing a new symbolization process to take place.

So, what does the collaborative effort between Israel and IPI contribute? Our couple training program addresses this unique Israeli experience while connecting us with the broader, international learning community. Together, we invest in furthering psychoanalytic thinking and treatment of couples around the world. Together, our students share their individual

cultures and their common experiences in the challenges of couple work. This exciting professional and emotional experience has potential for much further development.


Mann–Shalvi, H. (2006). From the ultrasound to the draft—the influence of the

knowledge that boys in Israel are being drafted at the age of eighteen, on the conscious

and unconscious affective attitudes of the parents toward them, and the

effects on the parents’ relationship. Doctor of Philosophy thesis, submitted to the

Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

Mann–Shalvi, H. (2007). Germans and Israeli Jews: hidden emotional dynamics. In:

H. Parens, A. Mahfouz, S. Twemlow, & D. Scharff (Eds.), The Future of Prejudice:

Psychoanalysis and the Prevention of Prejudice. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson.

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