Holocaust Kickboxer: Descent and Transformation of Intergenerational Trauam

Wagenberg, Nicole (2012) Holocaust Kickboxer: Descent and Transformation of Intergenerational Trauam. Doctoral thesis, Meridian University.


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Focusing on third-generation women descendants of Holocaust survivors, this study asked: What affective experiences and imaginal structures emerge in the process of disidentifying from survivor guilt and cultivating authentic power? The hypothesis was, as affective experiences related to survivor guilt are increasingly recognized and tended to one can access more freedom to cultivate one’s authentic power. The Literature Review covers survivor guilt and intergenerational trauma as well as the experience of the descendants of Holocaust survivors. Other relevant resources reviewed include ritual and expressive arts in relation to metabolizing historical trauma. Although much research has been done with Holocaust survivors and their descendants, literature is lacking on the effect upon third generation survivors, particularly pertaining to guilt and possible transformation through group ritual, culturally relevant practices, and expressive arts. The methodology utilized was Imaginal Inquiry. Eight participants, self-identified as third generation descendants of Holocaust survivors, met with the researcher for a oneday meeting. Through ritual, ecstatic practices, dialogue, and drama therapy, they shared and explored ways in which the Holocaust impacted them; they tapped into previously unexpressed affective states and processed their survivor guilt. vii The study’s Cumulative Learning was: When third-generation women descendants of Holocaust survivors gathered to explore and give voice to their experience, they processed the conflicted roles, expectations, and pressures put upon them by the broader community, communitas was created which brought healing about these experiences. This Cumulative Learning is based upon four major Learnings: First when the participants, third-generation women descendants of Holocaust survivors gathered as a group and embraced the opportunity to share their personal and family Holocaust stories for the first time in such a group, a unique safety emerged. Second with the safety that was created, the participants were able to sink into the unknown and face shadow aspects of their experience which included deep rage, grief, despair and guilt. Third through engaging with the Friend voices associated with their ancestors, gatekeeping dynamics were transmuted, allowing psychic movement and transformation for the participants. Fourth when third-generation women descendants of Holocaust survivors explored the impact of the Holocaust, drawing upon Jewish community, ritual, and practices was a balm for their experiences of trauma, loss, and guilt and provided a haven through this temporary small Jewish community of women. The study’s reflections focus on how understanding the process of moving from survivor guilt to authentic power can be deepened through the myths of the descent of Inanna and of Lilith, and the Jewish concept of Tikkun Olam. Inanna’s journey into the unexplored dark places of self and humanity can lead into an empowered and individuated self.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Psychology > Critical Theory
Depositing User: Nicole Wagenberg
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2017 21:50
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2017 21:50
URI: http://scholarship.meridianuniversity.edu/id/eprint/125

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