The function of the inner witness in interrupting screening mechanisms of perpetrators' language

Dana Amir, Nehama HaCohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper analyzes testimonies taken from Israeli soldiers by the organization “Breaking the Silence,” focusing on the interaction between the screening mechanisms of perpetrator's language, which split between the overt reporting of actions and the deep recognition of their meaning—and what we call “the function of the inner witness,” which operates against these mechanisms. Three types of transformation, allowing a move from turning one's back to looking things in the eye, are described by means of three types of confrontation: the confrontation between one perpetrator and another; the confrontation between perpetrator and witness; and the confrontation between perpetrator and victim.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-371
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Keywords

  • breaking the silence
  • inner witness
  • language
  • moral injury
  • perpetrator
  • trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (all)

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