Which 'forms of feeling' are facilitated and which discouraged within the cultures and structures of modern state welfare? This book illuminates the social and psychic dynamics of these new public cultures of welfare, locating them in relation to our understanding of borderline states of mind in individuals, organizations and society. Drawing upon their idea of a psychoanalytic sensibility rooted in Wilfred Bion's notion of 'learning from experience', the authors aim to access the new structures of feeling now taking shape in marketized and commodified health and social care systems. Integrating their reflections on clinical work with patients, consultancy with public sector organizations, political analysis, and the tradition of Group Relations Training, they offer a wide-ranging perspective on how contemporary social anxieties are managed within modern public welfare. Our collective struggle with fears of dependency and loss, and the demands of living and working in an interdependent 'networked' world give rise to fresh challenges to our ability to maintain depth of emotional engagements in welfare settings. Part of the Tavistock Clinic Series.
Series Editor’s Preface -- Introduction: the psychoanalytic study of welfare -- Borderline states of mind and society -- The state of mind we’re in: sincerity, anxiety, and the audit society -- The psychic geography of racism: the state, the clinician, and hatred of the stranger -- The broken link: polemic and pain in mental health work -- Surface tensions: emotion, conflict, and the social containment of dangerous knowledge -- Surface and depth in the Victoria Climbié Inquiry Report: exploring emotionally intelligent policy -- The vanishing organization: organizational containment in a networked world -- Conclusion: complex dependencies and the dilemmas of modern welfare -- Methodological reflections: clinical sensibility and the study of the social