Barbara S. Kane, PHD, LCSW
Barbara S. Kane, Ph.D., L.C.S.W., has practiced psychoanalysis and psychotherapy in New York for over 40 years. Since her fellowship years at the Free University of Berlin, she has explored the traumatizing legacies of history and context. Her Berlin focus was on issues of courage and resistance during the Third Reich. Subsequently, in Israel, she researched the impact of cultural upheavals on distressed peoples and populations, focusing on the intergenerational transmission of trauma. Along with private intensive psychoanalytic training, she worked at Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital in New York City considering mental illness as socio-cultural “response.”
Doctoral studies in Human Sexuality at New York University led to teaching and lecturing in Sweden, Germany and France. Certified in Psychoanalysis by the Institute for the Psychoanalytic Study of Subjectivity, in EMDR, and in Eriksonian Hypnosis and Somatic Experiencing, she is an ongoing student of Bion, Winnicott, Hebrew and Buddhist wisdom traditions.
"In the summer of my 20th year I found myself in Munich, Germany, studying Bach’s Well Tempered Klavier in between hanging out with ancient lutenists and speaking the magical language of Rilke, Goethe and Freud.
Suddenly a call came. A wall was being built in Berlin. In the chaos of the first night of building Checkpoint Charlie, my friends thought that I, as an American, would be overlooked. Therefore I could become the conveyer of illegal passports to terrified University students in the eastern half of the city. We flew to Berlin. I was outfitted with clothes lined with passports, given directions, and off I went.
I saw the frightened eyes of young blond ‘Aryan’ kids, dressed in white shirts, red ties. These children of Nazis brought tears to my eyes. “How odd,” my Jewish self spoke,” just 15 years before, a Jew was a hunted creature.” The whirlwind of the mutating roles of victim/victimizer nearly felled me. A hand squeeze, passports delivered, and I returned as I came, but never the same.
A holy sense of the oneness of all of us suffering creatures, a humility, dissolved the simmering hatred I did not know I had. Peacemaking, personal and political, became my passion. Fear and love, like music, know no boundaries. At that mutative moment, I saw those kids, the German students, were just like me. Ancient fears evaporated and I knew the direction my life would take, seeking to incarnate and discover forms for a universal sense of human oneness.
This awareness continues to orient me like a lighthouse with its gentle glow. A miracle in a life of trauma has suffused me with hope all these many succeeding decades. My daily life has become an effort to transmit ‘passports’ through confusion, chaos and worse, to find calm to deal with the awful, and to go to where help is needed."