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The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021


Parallel Papers Session 2
Friday 5 July 3.30pm-4.45 pm, EEST
Paper Code: PP1
Presented Online

River of Division and Integration - dialogue among Slovenian and Serbian tripartite matrices

Presenter: Igor Ambrožič
Moderator: Louisa Brunner

In the 19th century, the most important Slovenian poet France Prešeren wrote the ballad 'Povodnimož', very popular even today. In it, a handsome young man who comes from the country 'where the clear Sava River flows into the Danube' seduces a presumptuous, picky Slovenian girl. During a wild dance, they finally disappear among the waves. This can be understood as a centuries-old archetype, that the nation from the confluence of the Sava and Danube, with its sweet-talking and determination, can represent doom for vanity and innocence of Slovenian nation. During the period of disintegration of the former common state Yugoslavia, the destinies of Serbia and Slovenia were very different - from the tragedy of four years war to the fortunate circumstances that some parts of the country avoided bloody conflicts.

Seven years ago reached Slovenia the information about the study program of 'Systemic Psychodynamic Organizational Consulting - applied group analytical consulting' reached Slovenia, which is led in Belgrade by dr. Marina Mojović. Students from Slovenia felt sincerely welcome and accepted in Serbia. We felt the desire to pass on rich knowledge. From time to time, some tension arose which we overcame with a desire to understand differences. The excellent convening of the dialogue made a substantial contribution.

Three Slovenians coaches, who completed schooling in Belgrade, started last year to provide this kind of knowledge in Slovenia as well. We are still filled with the pleasant feeling of constant collaboration with our teachers and study colleagues from Belgrade. In our educational program in Slovenia we try to regularly include other international experts. At the same time, we also invite other educators from Slovenia who are completing their studies in Belgrade to participate.

In the light of Freud's thinking, presented in his book "Civilization and its Discontents", we can highlight our feelings about psychological discontent and neurosis: Freud explores how the internalization of social norms and the repression of instincts can lead to psychological discomfort and neurosis in individuals. The tension between the demands of civilisation and the individual's innate instincts can lead to psychological conflict and dissatisfaction. At the beginning of our studies, some of us students were certainly burdened with stereotypes of Slovenian striving for new knowledge, diligence, hard work and, on the other hand, with the supposed Serbian casualness and pleasure-seeking before hard work. With our expectations, stereotypes and at last - reality, we had to find our way between individualism and belonging to something and someone new. We succeeded because the process was full of acceptance, understanding and a sincere desire to share knowledge and experiences on both sides.

The other aspect therefore included the role of culture and society as Freud understood them. According to Freud, the structures of civilisation, such as laws, regulations and cultural norms, often conflict with the individual's pursuit of pleasure, leading to feelings of dissatisfaction and frustration, but ultimately leading to the desired goal. Keywords: Serbia; Slovenia; reunion of disrupted matrices; civilisation and individual neurosis; transfer of applied groupanalytic knowledge

Keywords: Serbia; Slovenia; reunion of disrupted matrices; civilisation and individual neurosis; transfer of applied groupanalytic knowledge

Biographical Summary

Igor Ambrovic

For 30 years, I was employed as a television director at the national Television of Slovenia. At work, I
was most interested in how to treat people so that they feel good and safe, and at the same time
they use their creative potential. That is why I started a specialist study of systemic psychodynamic
organizational consulting in Belgrade and successfully completed it in 2019. I strongly believe in the
ability of organized groups to grow and develop with the help of an expert who knows the
unconscious processes and emotions in the sphere of the unconscious.