The authors in this book focus on revenge as a neglected and insufficiently understood psychological mechanism in a broad spectrum ranging from the many and varied revenge acts of everyday life to the extreme societal destructiveness of genocide. Are perpetrators always avengers? What is the destructive potential of ordinary people? Envy, narcissistic wounds and rage are important themes with links to our forefathers. Human affects are central for attachment, symbolization and memory. How we deal with trauma will have an effect on the outcome of the revenge spiral. There are also grey areas between revenge and limit setting; what do these areas look like? The authors develop models for horizontal and vertical relationships which are important for an open reflective mental space. Via the concept of "space creating" the book describes the creative space with its possibility for reflection. The dilemma of the professional helper, the consequences of listening to traumatic memories and revenge fantasies, so called "vicarious traumas" are also taken up.
Tomas Bohm was a training psychoanalyst in private practice in Sweden, and author or co-author of a number of books dealing with xenophobia, racism and fundamentalism. He was a member of the International Psychoanalytical Association Prejudice Committee. Suzanne Kaplanis a practicing child and training psychoanalyst. Researcher at The Hugo Valentin Centre, Uppsala University, Sweden. Publications include 'Children in Genocide - Extreme traumatization and affect regulation' (2008). Recipient of the Hayman Prize for published work pertaining to traumatized children and adults in both 2001 and 2007.