Rafael Institute

Czech Republic

The Rafael Institute (RI) is a community of psychotherapists and careers that share a professional interest in the treatment and prevention of psychological trauma, including its transgenerational transmission. Some have personal or family experience in dealing with trauma and are familiar with the processes of intergenerational transmission of trauma, such as the Holocaust of World War II, while others have been dealing with this issue for a long time. The Rafael Institute members engage in methods which aim to disconnect the sequences of traumatic thoughts and to find less harmful spaces in the psyche of the individual or the affected group if the experience cannot be transformed into a beneficial one. Rafael Institute offers these main programs:

1. Self-knowledge training, education, and supervision of professionals, notably those who are working or willing to work with human groups and psychological trauma (mainly victims of group violence). For these professionals we are creating accredited training courses enhanced by the theme of psychological trauma or training courses created to suit the needs of organisations or individuals.

2. Dialogue with the public about the results of research on psychological trauma and about some of the civic themes. Based on our experience, we decided to provide our knowledge and skills on the psychology of trauma to the widest possible circle of professionals and the general public through various activities: organizing regular lectures with discussions, publishing professional texts and other events also organizing local or international interdisciplinary conferencies (Home and Trauma: 2014, Civilians at War: 2016, Large Groups and their Destinies:2018, Truthfulness and its Supression: 2020- organized in cooperation with the IRENE Association, is an expression of this interest and enables dialogue not only with professionals but also with general public).

3. Psychotherapy of the Holocaust trauma and its transgenerational transmission, both individual and in group in the Rafael Centre. There is a long-term tradition behind our activities overseen by Rafael Institute which are bound to the political development in our country in the past thirty years. The specificity of the Rafael Institute is the connection to the activities of Charter 77 and the interest in society as a whole.

More about Rafael Institute: www.rafaelinstitut.cz

Michaela Hapalová, clinical psychologist and psychotherapist for children, families, and adults. Jungian analyst (Individual Member IAAP) and Biosynthetic psychotherapist. She specializes in working with families, individuals, and groups with the experience of Shoah. She is a training therapist and supervisor. Co-author of publications on transgenerational transmission, (not only) the Holocaust. President of the Rafael Institute. She has a private practice in Prague. She has participated in international conferences, e. g. on ancestors in family history. Together with Michal Troudart (Israel, IIJP) she presented a paper on Jewish identity "Trauma, Home, Tradition, Spirituality" at the 3rd International European Conference on analytical psychology.

Marek Preiss, clinical psychologist, researcher, and psychotherapist at the National Institute of Mental Health and Associate Professor at the University of New York in Prague. He publishes and lectures on trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, and transgenerational transmission. He is providing therapy for Jewish survivors and their descendants. Vice-president of Rafael Institute. Co-editor of two books about transgenerational transmission of trauma (not only) the Holocaust.

Institute of Ethnology and Social Anthropology SAS


The Institute of Ethnology and Social Anthropology, Slovak Academy of Sciences (IESA SAS) has been long focused on problem-oriented research responding to current regional and global social topics and issues. International co-operation involves projects on socio-economic transition and structural social changes: current challenges and problems of families at the different stages of the life-cycle of their members, population aging, transgenerational communication and trauma, the Holocaust memory, inclusion of minorities, conspiracy theories, and religions in Slovakia in the late modern period.

The IESA SAS is also involved in many multilateral and bilateral research and education projects. One of the recent ones has been the project Crimes against Civilian Populations during WW2: Victims, Witnesses, Collaborators, and Perpetrators, coordinated by the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington (2011-2016) and with the participation of Dr. Monika Vrzgulová on behalf of the Institute.

The IESA SAS develops an active network with external public administration and third-sector institutions and organizations. It is involved in applied projects focusing on the research of memory of the non-democratic past and Holocaust in current society, civil society development, and the integration of excluded social groups. Recent projects include co-operation with Milan Šimečka Foundation and the Holocaust Documentation Centre (e.g. project on racial hatred, memory politics, and the Holocaust for teachers).

More about the Institute: https://uesa.sav.sk/?q=en

Peter Salner is a Senior researcher at the Institute of Ethnology and Social Anthropology at the Slovak Academy of Sciences. He lectured at universities in Bratislava (1996–2015), Prague (1999–2016), and Zürich (1991–1992). He took part in national and international projects, e.g. Oral history: The Fates of the Holocaust Survivors and Centropa. He published 19 books and more than 100 expert studies focusing on the social life of the Bratislava inhabitants and on the Jewish community development in Slovakia in the 20th and 21st centuries. From 1996 to 2013 he was the Chairman of the Jewish Religious Community in Bratislava.

Monika Vrzgulová, Senior research fellow of the Institute of Ethnology and Social Anthropology at the Slovak Academy of Sciences, a prominent expert on the Holocaust in Slovakia, issues of memory, and identity. She has been conducting domestic and international research using the oral history method for over two decades (the war-time Slovak state and the Holocaust (1939–1945), the post-war period and the Jewish community, transgenerational communication and family memory). From 2005–2017 she was the director of the Holocaust Documentation Center in Bratislava. She has published the results of her research in seven monographs and dozens of studies.

Hungarian Hospice Palliative Association


The Hungarian Hospice Palliative Association (HHPA) as national association was established by 19 hospices in 1995. In 2016 the HHPA has 46 member associations.

The Hungarian Hospice-Palliative Association has undertaken a significant role in coordinating and organizing the Hungarian hospice movement since 1995: especially in establishing its legal background, in the formation of the national education system, in publishing textbooks and standards and in keeping in touch with decision-makers.

Due to the activity of the HHPA, hospice care is financed by the National Health Insurance Fund, hospice directions are included into the National Cancer Control Program (2005) and the Hungarian Hospice-Palliative Association became a member of the National Health Council (2006).

Learn more: https://hospice.hu/en/association

From 2001, a hospice team functions in the Hospital of MAZSIHISZ (The Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities) and completes the home care and social services programs of the Federation.

Learn more: https://www.szeretetkorhaz.hu/Hospice-p-hu.html

Tihamér Bakó is a Training and Supervising Analyst of the Hungarian Psychoanalytical Society (IPA) and a Training and Supervising Psychodramatist of the Hungarian Psychodramatical Society. He works in private practice in Budapest and is the author of several professional books in the areas of trauma, crisis, suicide, and supervision.

Katalin Zana is a medical doctor, psychotherapist, and Psychoanalyst Candidate of the Hungarian Psychoanalytical Society (IPSO). She is the author of several publications in the areas of transgenerational trauma, narrative, and creativity, and works in a private practice in Budapest.

Tihamér Bakó and Katalin Zana both work in private practice in Budapest (Hungary), where they conduct psychoanalysis and psychoanalytically oriented therapy, and especially they do therapies with holocaust survivors and their descendants, and also descendants of survivals of other collective traumas, for example, the communist regime. They are both authors of the books entitled Transgenerational Trauma and Therapy, The Transgenerational Atmosphere and Psychoanalysis, COVID and Mass Trauma, both were published by Routledge (in 2020 and 2023), and they have several further publications on topics of trauma, collective (mass) trauma and transgenerational trauma. In their clinical work and in their research, their main focus of interest is the short and long-term psychological effects of collective traumas, especially the effect of mass trauma on the individual.

The Maria Grzegorzewska University


APS (Maria Grzegorzewska University): During its hundred years of operation, the Maria Grzegorzewska University has been a place of seeking the truth, transferring knowledge and cultivating culture. All students of our University, preparing for professions known as professions of social trust, are educated in the spirit of tolerance, inclusion but at the same time opposition to all forms of discrimination. The intention of Maria Grzegorzewska University is to educate enlightened and creative professionals, caring for both the development of their own personality, scientific and professional passion and practical skills, as well as caring for the comprehensive development of people and environments for which they will work.

Poland on the couch: The project Poland on the Couch is an initiative of group analysts from Rasztów Institute of Group Analysis based in Warsaw, aimed at building a safe space for conversation - the basis of social life. The main focus is on organizing reflective citizens workshops, which have been held since 2014 in different cities in Poland and also abroad (e.g. Germany). We wanted to provide a setting, which would stimulate a discussion between people with different opinions on for instance social or political issues. Poland on the couch was very much inspired by activities of groups analysts that live in societies where social conflicts have been very vivid: Israel and Serbia. This model helps to work with conflictual situations in distorted or traumatized communities and analyze the impact of transgenerational transmission. It combines both work with small but also large groups.

Learn more: www.aps.edu.pl

Łukasz Biedka is a psychologist, writer, and researcher in the history and Jewish genealogy. He is a member of a team of psychotherapists who work with Holocaust survivors and the second generation in Poland. He is an expert on the Jews of Przemyśl – collecting databases, memories, testimonies, documents, and photographs and connecting with people online to help piece together a shared history. He has a private practice.

Katarzyna Prot-Klinger, psychiatrist, psychotherapist, group analyst, professor at the Maria Grzegorzewska University (APS). She deals with the problem of individual and group reactions to a traumatic event. Author of many articles and monographs titled "Life after Shoah" ("Życie po Zagładzie").

Katarzyna Prot-Klinger, Łukasz Biedka, and Krzysztof Szwajca are specialists in the treatment of individuals and families who have been ex-posed to Holocaust trauma. They have experience in clinical practice and research. In the past, they published on topics such as Social Memory of the Holocaust in Poland or on the topic as Strength of Holocaust Survivors. They have pioneered work with Holocaust survivors and their families since the 1990´s in Poland.