HE.S.T.A.F.T.A. - Scientific Society of Mental Health Professionals


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One of the greatest achievements in science was the discovery and decoding of the DNA molecule. Through this, an autonomous scientific domain was created and scientific efforts focusing on DNA research and therapeutic applications are still awarded Nobel prizes. It is a common belief that molecular biology and genetics will be the scientific center around which Human sciences will spin.

So, how can you reply when a patient asks: "Isn't it a matter of DNA, doctor?"

Is it possible  not  to reply: "But yes, of course it is!", leaving the job to be done by some scientific researchers working in a dark —or most probably a shiny, well-equipped— laboratory, promising "radical, instant solutions", "growth and profit".

How can you not leave out the individual’s  **responsibility ** as a group member continuously interacting and transforming the existential  wholeness  of self and 'other'? How can you focus on what you can influence?

So, this issue (no. 11) has nothing to do with DNA. It is about personal, social and political responsibility. It has to do with the bio-psycho-social perspective of human nature, thus with the political-economical perception of human nature. It relates to the interactive procedures among members of human systems that enable us  to influence the "other" and at the same time to be influenced by the "other".

The issue is therefore about Social and Political responsibility; about how individuality is defined by the socio-political context and transferred as trauma through generations, embedded into relational patterns (Georgiadis) and not only into DNA molecules.

It points out the connection of individual-group-society, the production and reproduction of social and mental pain that leads to dysfunction. But also the possibilities of developing resilience and solidarity through personal insight, empathy and undertaken responsibility (and not transgenerationally transferred "debt" ). Responsibility as a suffering person, as a member of elementary collectivities and ultimately as a  citizen.

It refers to Humans within the contemporary social procedures, where "...everything around them and inside them is soiled and swept away and there is nothing left to love, nothing worth fighting for..." (Karistiani), but also to psychotherapy as an inspiration for a contemporary liberating political stance that includes polyphony,  revolt, eroticism and rebirth (Alavanos). A stance where the individual is not lost in the mass (Alavanos). To losses that are registered as absences, creating persons-bearers of endless grief (Petrou). To the transference of the migrant’s suffering to the therapist-caretaker who takes the risk of experiencing it (Kaldirimitzian).  To violence in the most intimate relationship (couple), the most intimate place. Violence that provokes therapeutic constraint leading the therapist to create a referential context that enables therapeutic choices and increases therapeutic efficacy (Spanea, Tomaras, Pomini).

Karistiani writes about this kind of violence: "Sometimes people, unwilling to charge those morally responsible for the state of things, as this would imply the obligation to resist or even rebel, search for a visible and accessible culprit within the familiar environment…"

Finally, the 11th issue is about the eventual relief after the struggle within the group where the "stranger" becomes a little more intimate and therefore each person becomes a little more intimate with her/himself (Thanopoulou).

"We are born within a body and a group" (Kaldirimitzian) and "the essence of being lies into the essence of belonging" (Petrou).

The DNA- body and the social- body in constant interaction.

Humans as carriers of this dynamic process cannot but take into account the need for increasing insight. Getting into interpersonal communication with increased personal awareness, they could contribute to the formation of a more differentiated socio-political process.

I think that the current issue contributes to the above.

Enjoy reading.

For the Editing Committee

Dimitris Kokkalis

Read the next article:

ARTICLE 2/ ISSUE 11, October 2017

Negation pacts, unconscious alliances centred on the mourning-holder of the Greek Cypriot missing-persons

Michael Petro, Clinical psychologist, Social anthropologist of the University of Lumière – Lyon 2. Psychoanalyst, member of the Hellenic Psychoanalytical Society and of the International Psychoanalytical Association. Group analyst, member of the French Group Psychoanalytical Psychotherapy Society (SFPPG)
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