"Anything written by Marion Oliner is worth reading. Her new book contains personal, clinical, and original theoretical wisdom, and I recommend it to anyone interested in the mind and psychoanalysis."
"This book is the admirable sum of a life. It embodies a unique combination of shattering autobiographical narration and crystal-clear psychoanalytic theorising. The author was severely traumatised as a child by the events of the Holocaust. After having survived, she found the way to psychoanalysis and a lifelong attempt at working through these experiences. During decades, the reflections of many colleagues about trauma and the effects of trauma, consequently about the reciprocal influence of external reality on psychic reality, as discovered by Freud, seemed to threaten the coherence of psychoanalysis. Marion Oliner now accomplishes an innovative theoretical integration with remarkable conceptual and technical consequences."
"This landmark book conveys important insights into the nature of trauma, which I have not before seen expressed with such clarity and conviction. Traditional trauma theory can sometimes ignore the processes through which traumatic memories are subject to assimilation by unconscious fantasies. In therapy, the historic events have to be regained. As Oliner emphasises, uncovering the reworking of traumatic memories by unconscious omnipotent fantasies helps to free the patient from imagined responsibility and guilt for these traumatic events. Her two autobiographical chapters at the beginning of the book are both touching and impressive, and lend the following theoretical chapters a special note of existential reflection."