About Vamik Volkan

Read more about Vamik Volkan

Dr. Volkan was born on the island of Cyprus in 1932. When he was a child Cyprus was a British colony. World War II started when he was seven years old. During his childhood he witnessed the island being bombed by German and Italian war planes. It was expected that The Nazi Germany would conquer the island. He sensed his parents’ anxiety. His family dug a bomb shelter in their garden. When alarms went off, day or night, rain or shine, his parents, sisters and he would take refuge there until the all-clear sounded to tell them that the danger was past.

Interethnic conflict between Cypriot Greeks and Cypriot Turks were inflamed in late 1950s. Dr. Volkan, as a newly graduated young physician, came to the USA at the beginning of 1957. Some months after his arrival in America his former roommate in Ankara -where he was studying medicine- who was like a brother to him went to the island to visit his ailing mother. His friend was shot by a Cypriot Greek terrorist. His friend’s murder and his living in America freely while his family members were suffering on the island induced “survivor guilt” and difficulties in mourning in him.

After moving to America, he trained in psychiatry and psychoanalysis, and became a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia and a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute. He sublimated his guilt feeling and difficulty in mourning by doing research on grief and mourning and, when an opportunity arose midway through his career, studying many conflicted areas of the world. He established the Center for the Study of Mind and Human Interaction at the University of Virginia Medical School, and he began to consult on the international level. He became an expert in the relationship between the human mind, history and politics. He developed many theories about the nature of large group conflict and war and described psychoanalytically informed unofficial diplomacy methods. He wrote many books on these topics. He established the International Dialogue Initiative in 2007, and he was nominated for a Nobel Peace on multiple occasions.


Books by Dr. Volkan

  • (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.[1]
  • (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.
  • (2002). Volkan, V. D. Kozmik Kahkaha (Cosmic Laughter). Trans. B. Büyükkal. Istanbul: Okuyan Us Yayin.
  • (2003). Varvin, S. and V. D. Volkan (eds.) Violence or Dialogue: Psychoanalytic Insights on Terror and Terrorism. London: International Psychoanalytical Association.
  • (2003). Volkan, V. D. Atlarla Yașıyan Kadın (The Woman who Lived with Horses). Trans. B. Büyükkal. Istanbul: Okuyan Us Yayin.
  • (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.
  • (2005)Volkan, V. D. and Itzkowitz, N. Atatoypk (Atatürk). Trans. by K. Zervos. Athens: Kostanidis.
  • (2006). Volkan, V. D.Killing in the Name of Identity: A Study of Bloody Conflicts. Pitchstone Publishing. ISBN 0-9728875-7-1
  • (2006). Varvin, S. and V. D. Volkan (eds.) Violenza o Dialogo? Insight psicoanalitico su terrore e terrorism. (Violence or Dialogue: Psychoanalytic Insights on Terror and Terrorism). Rome: Edizioni Borla s.r.
  • (2007). Volkan, V. D. and G. Ast. Özsevinin Dokusu (Spectrum of Narcissism)). Trans. by B. Özbaran and S. Pırıldar. Izmir, Turkey: Halime Odağ Psikoanaliz ve Psikoterapi Vakfı.
  • (2007). Volkan, V. D. Psikoterapide Nesne Ilişkileri (Object Relations in Psychotherapy). Trans. by A. A. Köşkdere. Bursa, Turkey: Terapi Psikiyatri Merkezi.
  • (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.
  • (2009). Volkan, V. D. Fanustaki İnsanlar (People in Glass Bubbles). Trans. Serap Erdogan. Istanbul: Everest Yayınevi
  • (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. and N. Atabey. Osmanlı’nın Yasından Atatürk’un Türkiye’sine: Onarıcı Liderlik ve Politik Psikoloji (From Mourning the Ottomans to Atatürk’s Turkey: Reparative Leadership and Political Psychology). Ankara, Turkey: Kripto.
  • (2010). Volkan, V. D. Divanda Kılıç Dövüșü (Sword fight on the Couch). Trans. B. Büyükkal. Istanbul, Turkey: Istanbul Bilgi Universitesi 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.
  • (2012). Volkan, V. D. Die Erweiterung der psycho-analytischen Behandlungstechnik: bei neurotischen, traumatisierten, narzisstischen und Borderline-Personlichkeiitsorganisationen. Trans. G. Ast. Giessen, Germany: Psychosozial-Verlag.
  • (2013)Volkan, V. D. Divandaki Dusmanlar: Bir Turk Psikoanalistin Politik Psikoloji Seruveni, Tercuman: Serap Erdogan Taycan. Istanbul: Alfa yayinevi.
  • (2013). Volkan, V. D.Psicologia de las Sociedades en Conflicto: diplomacia, relaciones internacionales y psicoanálisis. Libro de Consulta Sobre la Psicologia de los Grupos Grandes.
  • (2013). Volkan, V. D. Enemies on the Couch: A Psychopolitical Jopurney Through War and Peace. Durham, N. C.: Pitchstone Publishing.
  • (2014). Volkan, V. D. Animal Killer: Transmission of War Trauma from one Generation to the Next. London: Karnac.
  • (2014). Volkan, V. D. Hayvan Katili. Istanbul: Okuyan Us.
  • (2014). Volkan, V.D. Psychoanalysis, International Relations, and Diplomacy:A Sourcebook on Large-Group Psychology.London: Karnac.
  • (2015). Volkan, V. D. Would-Be Wife Killer: A Clinical Study of Primitive Mental Functions, Actualized Unconscious Fantasies, Satellite States, and Developmental Steps. London: Karnac.
  • (2015). Volkan, V. D. A Nazi Legacy: A Study of Depositing, Transgenerational Transmission, Dissociation and Remembering Through Action. London: Karnac.
  • (2017). Volkan, V. D. Immigrants and Refugees:Trauma,Perennial Mourning, and Border Psychology. London: Karnac.
  • (2017) Suistola, J and Volkan, V. D. Religious Knives: Historical and Psychological Dimensions of International Terrorism. Durham, N. C.: Pitchstone