Johanna Dobrich

Sep 5, 2023

Working with Survivor Siblings in Psychoanalysis

Ability and Disability in Clinical Process

Routledge 2021

Johanna Dobrich, author of Working with Survivor Siblings in Psychoanalysis: Ability and Disability in Clinical Process (Routledge, 2021), is the recipient of the 2023 Sandor Ferenczi Award. The award is given for the best published work in the realm of psychoanalysis related to trauma and dissociation in adults and/or children. Survivor Siblings in Psychoanalysis: (Ability and Disability in Clinical Process is the first book to address the topic of relational trauma within the families of a child with severe disabilities.

Working with Survivor Siblings in Psychoanalysis: Ability and Disability in Clinical Process explores a previously neglected area in the field of psychoanalysis, addressing undertheorized concepts on siblings, disabilities, and psychic survivorship, and broadening our conceptualization of the enduring effects of lateral relations on human development.

What happens to a person’s sense of self both personally and professionally when they grow up alongside a severely disabled sibling? Through a series of qualitative interviews held between the author and a sample of psychoanalysts, this book examines both the unconscious experience and the interpersonal field of survivor siblings. Through a trauma-informed contemporary psychoanalytic lens, Dobrich combines data analysis, theory-building, memoir, and clinical storytelling to explore and explicate the impact of lateral survivorship on the clinical moment, making room for a contemporary and nuanced appreciation of siblings in psychoanalysis.

Working with Survivor Siblings in Psychoanalysis: Ability and Disability in Clinical Process will be of immense interest and value to psychoanalysts and other mental health professionals, and for all therapists who work with and treat patients that are themselves survivor siblings. Uniquely integrating both academic and memoir writing, this book will also engage those building theory around the implications of the analyst’s subjectivity on clinical processes.

Johanna Dobrich is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Psychoanalyst with a private practice in New York City that specializes in the treatment of dissociative disorders, among other conditions. Johanna has a master’s degree in political science from Rutgers University and an MSW from New York University. Johanna teaches courses in relational psychoanalysis and its intersection with traumatology and supervises post-graduate psychoanalytic candidates-in-training at the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy and at the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Study Center. Johanna enjoys writing, supervising, engaging and coming together with those who share an interest in understanding the complexities, joys and pains of human connection and expression.

Judith Tanen, MA LP CANDIDATE. Email:

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