Vamık Volkan

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Vamık D. Volkan (born in 1932 in Lefkoşa, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus) is a Turkish Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, the Senior Erik Erikson Scholar at the Erikson Institute of Education and Research of the Austen Riggs Center, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and an Emeritus Training and Supervising Analyst at the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute, Washington, D.C.


Before coming to the United States in 1957 he received his medical education at the School of Medicine, University of Ankara, Turkey. He Professor Volkan holds Honorary Doctorate degrees from Kuopio University, Finland (2005) and from Ankara University, Turkey (2006). Academic Positions and Appointments in the USA Dr. Volkan was Director of the Gender Identity Clinic, University of Virginia Medical Center (1970-1976); member of the Task Force on Psychiatry and Foreign Affairs, American Psychiatric Association (1971-1977); Acting Chairperson of the Department of Psychiatry, University of Virginia School of Medicine (1977-1978); Consultant, Agency for International Development, Cyprus Mental Health Project, Department of State, Washington, D.C. for the design and construction of a Community Mental Health Center in Lefkoșa (Nicosia), North Cyprus, with a capacity for 100 inpatients (1977-1982); Chairperson of the Advisory Committee, Division of Social Work, University of Virginia Health Sciences Center (1981-1983); Co-chair of the Sexual Deviations Study Group, American Psychoanalytic Association (1982-1992); Chairperson of the Committee on Psychiatry and Foreign Affairs, American Psychiatric Association (1983-1985); Chairperson of the Committee on International Relations, Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry (1986-1996); member, Advisory Board, Center for Psychological Studies in the Nuclear Age, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts (1989-1992); member, Advisory Board, Margaret S. Mahler Research Foundation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1992-2005); Chairperson of the Select Advisory Commission of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Critical Incident Response Group that examined the 1993 Waco, Texas incident (1995); Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts (2001); member of Working Group on Terror and Terrorism, International Psychoanalytic Association (2002-2004); Guest Instructor, Berkshires Psychoanalytic Institute, Stockbridge, MA (2007). Blue Ridge Hospital Dr. Volkan was the Medical Director of the University of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Hospital (a general hospital) (1978-1994). Center for the Study of Mind and Human Interaction (CSMHI) Dr. Volkan was Founder and Director of the Center for the Study of Mind and Human Interaction (CSMHI) (1987-2002) at the School of Medicine, University of Virginia. CSMHI applied a growing theoretical and field-proven base of knowledge to issues such as ethnic tension, racism, national identity, terrorism, societal trauma, transgenerational transmissions, leader-follower relationships, and other aspects of national and international conflict. Because no single discipline can fully illuminate such deep-seated and complex issues, CSMHI's faculty and board included experts in psychoanalysis, psychiatry, psychology, diplomacy, history, political science, and environmental policy. Their combined perspectives and experience provided in-depth analyses of political, historical, and social issues and the psychological processes that invariably exist beneath their surface.[1]

International Negotiation Network (INN) Professor Volkan was a member of the International Negotiation Network (INN) under the directorship of the former President Jimmy Carter (1989-1998). In 1987, President Carter founded INN as a flexible, informed network of former heads of state, Nobel Peace laureates, eminent persons and conflict resolution practitioners dedicated to resolving international conflicts through peaceful means. In 1992, Dr. Volkan traveled with President Carter and other members of INN to Senegal to meet with African political leaders. International Academic Positions and Appointments Dr. Volkan was a member of the International Advisory Board, The Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel (1988-1991); Inaugural Yitzak Rabin Fellow, Rabin Center for Israeli Studies, Tel Aviv, Israel (2000-2001); Temporary Consultant to the World Health Organization (WHO) in Albania and Macedonia (2000); Board Member of the Freud Foundation, Vienna, Austria, (2003-2009); Visiting Professor of Psychiatry at Ege University, Izmir, Turkey (2004); Visiting Professor of Psychiatry, Ankara University, Ankara, Turkey (2005); Fulbright/Sigmund Freud-Privatstiftung Visiting Scholar of Psychoanalysis in Vienna, Austria (2006); Visiting Professor of Political Science, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria (2006); a Visiting Professor of Political Psychology, Bahceșehir University, Istanbul, Turkey (2007); Visiting Professor of Psychiatry, Cerrahpașa Medical School, Istanbul, Turkey (2007). He was Honorary Director, Center for Sustainable Peace (CSP), Faculty of Law, Bahceșehir University, Istanbul, Turkey (2007) and Honorary Supervisor and Consultant, Società per lo studio dei disturbi della personalità (Society for the Study of Personality Disorders) in Milan, Italy (2007).

International Projects Dr. Volkan worked in various countries (Israel, Egypt, Soviet Union, Russia, the Baltic Republics, Croatia, Albania, Romania, Kuwait, Georgia, South Ossetia, Turkey, among others) over three decades, bringing various “enemy” representatives together for unofficial dialogues, speaking with many world political leaders and spending time in refugee camps. He developed new theories on large-group psychology and suggested new strategies for peaceful co-existence. International Dialogue Initiative (IDI) Dr. Volkan (with Lord John Aderdice [United Kingdom] and Dr. Robi Friedman [Israel]) chairs the International Dialogue Initiative (IDI) meetings. He established the IDI in 2008, with the Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge, Massachusetts as its administrative home. The IDI members are unofficial representatives from Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Russia, Germany, United Kingdom and United States. They meet twice a year to examine world affairs primarily from a psychopolitical point of view.[2][3]

Awards Professor Volkan is a recipient of the Nevitt Sanford Award given by the International Society of Political Psychology (ISPP) for his work on political psychology (1994); the Max Hayman Award given by the American Orthopsychiatric Association for his contributions to the psychology of racism and genocide (1995); the L. Bryce Boyer Award given by the Society for Psychological Anthropology for his study of post-Ceauşescu Romania (1996); and the Margaret Mahler Literature Prize for his writings on clinical issues (1999). He gave the annual Foulkes Lecture for the Group Analytic Society in 2002 on September 11 and Societal Regression. Dr. Volkan also received the Sigmund Freud Award given by the city of Vienna, Austria, in collaboration with the World Council of Psychotherapy (2003) and the Hans H. Strupp Award by the Appalachian Psychoanalytic Society in recognition of his outstanding contributions to psychoanalytic theory and practice (2009). He received the American College of Psychoanalysts’ Best Teaching Award (2004); Ankara University’s University Medal (2005); the Austrian-American Educational Commission (Fulbright Commission) Award (2006); was recognized by Natur och Kultur, Stockholm, Sweden for Outstanding Contributions to the Psychoanalytic Study of Societies, Stockholm; (2008) and was awarded the Lifelong Achievement Award, Eastern Mediterranean University, Famagusta, Turkish Republic of North Cyprus (2009). Dr. Volkan was listed in Best Doctors in America every year from the late 1980s until his retirement from medical practice in 2002. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize four times (2005-2008), supported by letters from 27 countries. Presidencies Professor Volkan is former President of the Turkish-American Neuropsychiatric Society, the International Society of Political Psychology (ISPP), the Virginia Psychoanalytic Society and the American College of Psychoanalysts.



  • (1976). Volkan, V. D.Primitive Internalized Object Relations: A Clinical Study of Schizophrenic, Borderline, and Narcissistic Patients
  • (1979). Volkan, V. D.Cyprus: War and Adaptation: A Psychoanalytic History of Two Ethnic Groups in Conflict
  • (1981). Volkan, V. D.Linking Objects and Linking Phenomena
  • (1982). Volkan, V. D.Primitive Internalized Object Relations: A Clinical Study of Schizophrenic, Borderline, and Narcissistic Patients
  • (1984). Volkan, V. D.What Do You Get When You Cross a Dandelion with a Rose?
  • (1985). Volkan, V. D.Depressive States and Their Treatment
  • (1986). Vamik Volkan and Norman Itzkowitz. The Immortal Atatürk: A Psychobiography
  • (1988). Volkan, V. D.The Need to Have Enemies & Allies: From Clinical Practice to International Relationships
  • (1990). Vamik D. Volkan, Demetrios A. Julius, and Joseph V. Montville. The Psychodynamics of International Relationships: Concepts and Theories (Psychodynamics of International Relationships)
  • (1990). Vamik D. Volkan and Charles W. Socarides. The Homosexualities: Reality, Fantasy, and the Arts
  • (1991). Vamik D. Volkan, Demetrios A. Julius, and Joseph V. Montville The Psychodynamics of International Relationships: Unofficial Diplomacy at Work
  • (1992). Charles W. Socarides and Vamik D. Volkan. The Homosexualities and the Therapeutic Process
  • (1993). Vamik D. Volkan and Elizabeth Zintl. Life After Loss: The Lessons of Grief
  • (1995). Volkan, V.D. Six Steps in the Treatment of Borderline Personality Organization
  • (1995).Volkan, V. D. The Infantile Psychotic Self: Understanding and Treating Schizophrenics and Other Difficult Patients. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson.
  • (1996) Vamik D. Volkan and Salman Akhtar. The Seed of Madness: Constitution, Environment, and Fantasy in the Organization of the Psychotic Core
  • (1997) Volkan, V. D. and G. Ast. Siblings in the Unconscious and Psychopathology: Womb Fantasies, Claustrophobias, Fear of Pregnancy, Murderous Rage, Animal Symbolism
  • (1997). Volkan, V. D. Bloodlines: From Ethnic Pride to Ethnic Terrorism. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.[4]
  • (1999) Vamik D. Volkan, Norman Itzkowitz, Andrew W. Dod. Richard Nixon
  • (2001).Volkan, V. D., G. Ast, and W. F. Greer. Third Reich in the Unconscious: A Study of Transgenerational Transmissions of Shared Trauma and its Consequences for Identity Formation. Philadelphia: Brunner-Routledge.
  • (2002). Volkan, V. D., Ast, Gabriele, and Greer, William. The Third Reich in the Unconscious: Transgenerational Transmission and its Consequences. New York: Bruenner-Routledge.
  • (2003).Varvin, S. and V. D. Volkan (eds.) Violence or Dialogue: Psychoanalytic Insights on Terror and Terrorism. London: International Psychoanalytical Association.
  • (2004). Volkan, V. D. Das infantile psychotische Selbst und seine weitere Entwicklung (The Infantile Psychotic Self). Göttingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.
  • (2004).Volkan, V. d.Blind Trust: Large Groups and Their Leaders in Times of Crisis and Terror
  • (2004) Salman Akhtar and Vamik D. Volkan Mental Zoo: Animals in the Human Mind and Its Pathology
  • (2004) .Akhtar, S. and V. D. Volkan (eds.) (2004). Cultural Zoo: Animals in the Human Mind and its Sublimations. Madison, CT: International Universities Press.
  • (2006). Volkan, V. D.Killing in the Name of Identity: A Study of Bloody Conflicts. Pitchstone Publishing. ISBN 0-9728875-7-1
  • (2008).Carter, J., Irani, G., and V. D. Volkan (eds.) Regional and Ethnic Conflicts: Perspectives from the Front Lines. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/ Prentice Hall.
  • (2009). Volkan, V. D. with J. C. Fowler . Searching for a Perfect Woman: The Story of a Complete Psychoanalysis. New York: Jason Aronson.
  • (2010).Volkan, V. D. and N. Itzkowitz (2010). Atatürk/Anatürk: Mustafa Kemal’in Yaşamı, İç Dünyası, Yeni Türk Kimliğinin Yaratılışı ve Bugünkü Türkiye’deki Kimlik Sorunları (Father Turk/MotherTurk: The Life of Mustafa Kemal, His Internal World, the Creation of the New Turkish Identity and Identity Questions in Today’s Turkey). Istanbul: Alfa Yayınları.
  • 2010).Volkan, V. D. Hevosnainen: Psychoanalyyttinen tapausselostus (A Women who Lived with Horses) Helsinki: Therapeia-säätio.
  • (2011)Volkan, V. D. Psychoanalytic Technique Expanded: A Textbook on Psychoanalytic Treatment. Istanbul/London: Oa Press.
  • (2013)Volkan, V. D. Divandaki Dusmanlar: Bir Turk Psikoanalistin Politik Psikoloji Seruveni, Tercuman: Serap Erdogan Taycan. Istanbul: Alfa yayinevi
  • (2013)Volkan, V. D. Enemies on the Couch: A Psychopolitical Jopurney Through War and Peace. Durham, N. C.: Pitchstone Publishing.
  • (2013) Volkan, V. D. Animal Killer: Transmission of War Trauma from one Generation to the Next. London: Karnac



  1. ^ Stoughton, Stephanie (November 25, 1991). "Psychiatric Team Easing Tensions". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved June 29, 2010. 
  2. ^ Goleman, Daniel (August 2, 1994). "Amid Ethnic Wars, Psychiatrists Seek Roots of Conflicts". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ Greenway, H. D. S. (October 21, 2009). "Cyprus and 'Chosen Trauma'". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ "Peaceful Pretenders". The New York Times. November 9, 1997. Retrieved June 29, 2010. 

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