Brothers and Sisters
Myth and Reality
Analytical Psychology
5.5 x 8.5, 176 pp.
Bib. Index.
Pub Date: 11/18/2014
Carolyn and Ernest Fay Series in Analytical Psychology
Price:        $27.95

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Brothers and Sisters

Myth and Reality

By Henry Abramovitch

Growing up, we typically spend more time with our brothers and sisters than we do with our parents. In an age of divorce, mobility, and alienation, the sibling bond is often the only one that really lasts.

Given that brothers and sisters are such a fundamental aspect of human existence, it is remarkable that they have received so little in-depth attention in the field of psychology.

Henry Abramovitch’s Brothers and Sisters explores the tension between the myth and reality of brothers and sisters in a variety of cultures and through the poignant brother-sister stories in the Bible. Abramovitch looks at the developmental sequence in the sibling relationship as brothers or sisters struggle to find their place with each other, concluding with a very personal account of his own relationship with his brother and sister.

HENRY ABRAMOVITCH is a Jungian analyst, clinical psychologist, anthropologist, and medical educator. He is the founding president of the Israel Institute of Jungian Psychology and a professor in the department of medical education at the Sackler School of Medicine in Tel Aviv University.

What Readers Are Saying:

"In this book Abramovitch unearths profound meanings of a neglected relationship in depth psychology—the relationship of siblings.  Abramovitch uses his vast knowledge of the Bible and religious myths throughout the world together with his own clinical experience to show how the sibling relationship can be alternatively nurturing and murderous, healing and conflictual.  But if we tame the relationship through understanding and imagination it can literally be the relationship that is the signpost for how we come to know ourselves and continue to grow throughout our lives."—Steven Kepnes, Professor of World Religions and Jewish Studies, Colgate University

"A seminal Jungian contribution to the half-born field of sibling studies. What distinguishes Abramovitch’s work – aside from its humour and compassion – is the well-integrated mixture of personal, social, anthropological, mythical, biblical and other archetypal elements. Therapists and academics interested in brothers and sisters – particularly those who do not usually read Jungian books – should lay aside prejudices and engage with the multi-dimensional world of ‘sibs’ that is conjured up herein."—Andrew Samuels, Professor of Analytical Psychology, University of Essex, UK

“Henry Abramovitch has written a rare and beautiful book about a topic that is deeply familiar and yet has been embarrassingly underexplored in the tradition of Analytical Psychology.  For those with siblings, the divides between the beloved and hated sibling and between the mythic and the real sibling that Dr.Abramovitz portrays are as close to home as our blood.  For those without siblings, Dr. Abramovitch has given us the second best thing to the real experience -- the capacity to imagine the joy and suffering of being a sibling.”—Thomas Singer, Jungian psychoanalyst and author/editor, The Cultural Complex

“I heartily recommend this volume.” –The Journal of Analytical Psychology


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