Tin Soldiers on Jerusalem Beach

By Amia Lieblich | Go to book overview

The Wheelchair Group of 1974*__

Introduction

In contradistinction to the openness of Zoe, Sol, and Ron, the following account may be taken as a lesson in denial and disguise. One of the members of my 1974 group named whatever it was we were doing "the great denial game." Its basic rule: pretend that life is back to normal. None of the players is fully aware of the game; and I, too, discovered it only at the end of the year, when it was almost over. At that time, the fighting of the Yom Kippur War had been over about six months. People had tired of discussing the war and, perhaps, were trying to recover from its effects by simply avoiding the subject. Fundamentally, though, the emotions surrounding this war -- the fear, pain, and shame -- were, at that time, too dangerous to stir up.

It was February 1974, and I started working with a year-long group of students, a group I later named The Wheelchair Group of 1974. Thirteen psychology students participated in it: six young men, all of whom had served the previous three to five months in the army and took part in the Yom Kippur War; one woman who was serving in the army as a group dynamics expert and a trainer of personnel; one woman whose husband was a combat pilot in active service most of the year; and five unmarried women.

As I organized the group, I was somewhat apprehensive. I feared it would develop into a discussion group in which people

____________________
*
An abbreviated form of this section appeared as a paper in Voices, Summer 1975, pp. 54-56, under the title "The Motif of Mutilated Legs in a Gestalt Group: One Year After a War."

-143-

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Tin Soldiers on Jerusalem Beach
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword vii
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Part 1 - VVhen Cannons Are Stilled, Let Voices Be Heard 1
  • Six Wars 3
  • On War and Sanity 7
  • Overview of Gestalt Therapy 11
  • The Groups 18
  • Reactions 21
  • Tin Soldiers on Jerusalem Beach 24
  • Part 2 - The Unfinished Business of War in Israel 25
  • War as a Symbol 27
  • On Freedom and Country 46
  • Reminders of the Holocaust 75
  • War and the Family 95
  • Early Effects of the War 116
  • The Wheelchair Group of 1974__ 143
  • New Group, Old War 160
  • The Shadow of War 193
  • Part 3 - Peacetime Conversations About War 205
  • The Women 261
  • About the Book 289
  • Recommended Readings 305
  • About the Author *
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