Feeling, Relating, Existing

On emotion and the human dimension

Trauma, Death, Resurrection: A Russian-American Conversation

If we can help one another bear the darkness rather than evade it, perhaps one day we will be able to see the light — as finite human beings, finitely bonded to one another. Read More

trama , death and resurrection.

I agree with your thoughts on responding to trauma. My personal experience indicates that most self-help books on recovery from trauma are very limited because they do not recognize our vulnerability but want to ignore it. Thanks for the article.

Radical hope

Having experienced a second time just a few years ago the shattering of my world, I find this Stolorow/Roganov conversation far more than “a tiny step toward”the goal of “helping one another bear the darkness...[and] perhaps one day... be able to see the light, as finite human beings.”

Among so much else, this conversation is for me a clear example of the notion of ‘radical hope’ (Lear, 2006), which Orange (2008) so beautifully articulates for psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. What can we realistically hope when we have lost everything? Or in Orange’s words, “Where do some people find the possibility of hope, even when previous meanings of hope—and the sense of temporality on which all hope depends—no longer have any sense?”

In providing a sense of that radical hope, this S/R conversation is for me an instance and a dimension of the ‘relational home’ within which my traumatized state can continue “to evolve into painful emotional experiences tat can be more fully felt, lived-in, better tolerated, brought into language and conversation, and eventually better integrated ([though] never reversed).”

This is partially so because, as Gadamer pointed out, “A conversation is always a kind of living together and as such it has its incontestable and unreachable priority.” (quoted in Orange, 2010:118).

I thank you both.

Ernesto Vasquez


Lear, J. (2006). RADICAL HOPE- Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Orange, D. M. (2008). “Book Review- RADICAL HOPE- Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation, by Jonathan Lear, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2006.” Psychoanalytic Psychology, 2008, Vol. 25, No. 2, 368–374.

Radical Hope

Thanks so much for your appreciative and wonderful comment!

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Robert D. Stolorow, Ph.D. is one of the original members of the International Council for Psychoanalytic Self Psychology, which stems from the work of Heinz Kohut.


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