The book bridges the conceptual and practical gap between a psychoanalytic focus on the internal world and the dynamics of external reality by examining an array of junctures in which the two perspectives combine to enrich each other. Starting from the inherent bias of the psychoanalytic immersion in working with the internal world, the book deals with a wide array of phenomena in which a binocular perspective is potentially contributing. One such bridge is exemplified by the Group Relations approach, which richly combines psychoanalytic insights with systemic ones. This unique merger is valuable in studying a variety of phenomena both within psychoanalysis and outside it. The work of the analyst in the psychoanalytic setting implies situating oneself on several boundaries - internal and external, love and admiration as well as death and destructive impulses - and the courage and sacrifice demanded by taking up this role. This binocular perspective has significant implications for the formation and maintenance of identity and particularly for the psychoanalytic identity.
H. Shmuel Erlich is a practicing psychoanalyst as well as a Group Relations Consultant and a consultant to organizations, both psychoanalytic and others. He was born in Germany in 1937, raised in Israel, educated in the USA, and returned to Israel in 1971. From that time until his retirement in 2005 he was on the academic staff of the Psychology Department of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem where he taught in the graduate Clinical Psychology Program. From 1990 until 2005 he held the Sigmund Freud Chair in Psychoanalysis, and was Director of the Freud Center of Psychoanalytic Study and Research. Beside his academic career, he was Chief Psychologist at Eitanim Psychiatric Hospital where he founded and directed for fifteen years an inpatient adolescent service. A graduate of the Israel Psychoanalytic Institute (1983), he held various positions in the Israel Psychoanalytic Society, notably those of President and Chair of the Education Committee. Since 2000 he has been active in the international psychoanalytic movement (IPA), where he served two terms as elected Board Representative from Europe, Chair of the IPA Education Committee, and is currently Chair of the IPA Education & Oversight Committee. He was reelected to the IPA Board in 2011. In the area of Group Relations, he co-founded (1985) the Israel Association for the Study of Group and Organizational Processes (OFEK).