1st Edition

Intersectionality and Relational Psychoanalysis
New Perspectives on Race, Gender, and Sexuality

ISBN 9780367361716
Published February 21, 2020 by Routledge
246 Pages

USD $44.95

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Book Description

Intersectionality and Relational Psychoanalysis: New Perspectives on Race, Gender, and Sexuality examines the links between race, gender, and sexuality through the dual perspectives of relational psychoanalysis and the theory of intersectionality.

This anthology discusses the ways in which clinicians and patients inadvertently reproduce experiences of privilege and marginalization in the consulting room. Focusing particularly on the experiences of immigrants, women of color, sex workers, and LGBTQ individuals, the contributing authors explore how similarities and differences between the patient's and analyst's gender, race, and sexual orientation can be acknowledged, challenged, and negotiated. Combining intersectional theory with relational psychoanalytic thought, the authors introduce a number of thought-provoking clinical vignettes to suggest how adopting an intersectional approach can help us navigate the space between pathology and difference in psychotherapy.

By bringing together these new psychoanalytically-informed perspectives on clinical work with minority and marginalized individuals, Intersectionality and Relational Psychoanalysis makes an important contribution to psychoanalysis, psychology, and social work.

Table of Contents

PART I.  1. Who Is Queer Around Here? Intersections of Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation in Psychotherapy Max Belkin  2. Minding the Gap: Intersections between Gender, Race, and Class in Work with Gender Variant Children Avgi Saketopoulou  PART II.  3. Subordinated Selves: Integrating Intersectional Oppression and the Unconscious Mind in Prostitution Discourse Hannah Pocock 4. Skin memories: On Race, Love, and Loss Sue Grand  Part III. 5. Intersectionality in the Immigrant Context Pratyusha Tummala-Narra  6. Strangers in Paradise: Trevor, Marley, and Me: Reggae Music and the Foreigner Other Cleonie White  PART IV. 7. Intersectionality, Normative Unconscious Processes, and Racialized Enactments of Distinction Lynne Layton 8. Intersectionality Encountering Laplanche: Models of Otherness and the Incomprehensibility of Perpetration Julie Leavitt & Adrienne Harris 9. Intersectionality: From Politics to Identity

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Max Belkin, Ph.D., is a supervisor of psychotherapy and faculty at the William Alanson White Institute, associate editor of Contemporary Psychoanalysis, and adjunct faculty at the Department of Applied Psychology at NYU. He is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in New York City, specializing in treating individuals and couples.

Cleonie White, Ph.D., is fellow, faculty, and supervisor of psychotherapy at the William Alanson White Institute, adjunct clinical assistant professor at New York University's Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, and faculty and supervisor at the Stephen Mitchell Center for Relational Studies. Dr. White maintains a private practice in NYC.


"Placing psychoanalysis and the discourse of intersectionality in direct dialogue, this collection consolidates new and refreshing clinical approaches to the ways in which modern subjects construct their identities, consciously and unconsciously. Thinking race, gender, and sexual orientation together, the contributors update and expand the theoretical insights of an older discourse of 'identity politics,' situating processes of self-formation and interaction with difference firmly in the space of relational rather than individual dynamics."

Michelle Stephens, Ph.D., practicing psychoanalyst and author of Skin Acts: Race, Psychoanalysis and the Black Male Performer (Duke UP, 2014)

"Intersectionality and Relational Psychoanalysis is an essential and invaluable contribution to our field at a moment when psychoanalysis has finally begun to embrace the challenge of analyzing the social and historical contexts that organize our psychic experience—particularly the effects of collective trauma and intergenerational transmission. Each of these illuminating essays provides a uniquely thoughtful and complex answer to the question of how we integrate a perspective that recognizes the interpenetrating effects on psychic life of the relationships between race, sexual orientation, gender, class, and ethnicity. This volume represents an impressive work of vision, originality and depth that invites us, the readers, to immerse ourselves in the vital reflection on how we are formed by and express the social in our psychic lives and our clinical work."

Jessica Benjamin, Ph.D., author, Beyond Doer and Done To: Recognition Theory, Intersubjectivity and the Third (2017)

"Through a series of powerful essays, White and Belkin bring a collective voice to the marginalization of 'the other' and locate the challenges and opportunities that are available within the therapeutic situation. These papers, through rich clinical material, compel us to step into the intersection of race, gender and sexuality with our patients, moving away from being a 'perpetrating bystander' (Leavitt and Harris) in our clinical function. Regardless of one’s theoretical approach, these are valuable insights that promote seeing ourselves and our patients more complexly, mitigating the tribalism that is ascendant in modern society and impacts our therapeutic capacities. Many of the chapters are written in the current relational idiom involving a degree of self-disclosure and a flexibility of psychoanalytic framework that may be regarded with varying degrees of acceptance by schools of psychoanalytic thought and readership. This book offers fertile ground for consideration of issues of otherness in psychoanalysis, thus serving a valuable contribution to breaking our silence to the monolithic conclusions that regard the other and impact our relevance in modern society that yearns for this form of inquiry."

Dionne R. Powell, M.D., author of Race, African Americans, and Psychoanalysis: Collective Silence in the Therapeutic Situation (2012)