1st Edition

Patriarchy and Its Discontents Psychoanalytic Perspectives

Edited By Jean Petrucelli, Sarah Schoen, Naomi Snider Copyright 2023
    344 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    344 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This anthology of interviews and essays joins luminaries in contemporary psychoanalysis with pioneers of feminism to provide a timely analysis of the crushing effects of patriarchy and the role that psychoanalysis can play in moving us into a future defined by mutuality and respect.

    Departing from the contemporary psychoanalytic view that the socio-political and intrapsychic are inextricably linked, contributors use psychoanalysis as a tool to demystify and even dismantle patriarchy, while also examining how our theories, practices, and institutions have been implicated in it. The issues under examination here include important and often under-theorized topics such as institutional responses to boundary violations, the search for a black-feminist psychoanalytic theory, patriarchal enactments within the trans community, the persistence of patriarchy within contemporary psychoanalysis, and the impacts of patriarchy on diverse patient populations and ways to address this clinically.

    This book represents the first anthology comprised of voices from both within and outside the psychoanalytic realm, outlining a contemporary feminist psychoanalysis for both an analytic and non-analytic audience. It is invaluable for both psychoanalysts and for those in gender studies wishing to draw on psychoanalytic thinking.

    Introduction: Dis–man–telling Patriarchy: Reckoning, Opportunity, and Revitalization

    Jean Petrucelli

    Section I: Learning from Activists: Engaging with and Resisting Patriarchal Constraint 

    1. Interview with Gloria Steinem on Patriarchy

    Naomi Snider

    2. Interview with Carol Gilligan, Carol Jenkins, Emily Mann, and V (formerly known as Eve Ensler)

    Sarah Schoen and Naomi Snider

    Section II: On the Couch and in the Institute: How Patriarchy Impacts Psychoanalytic Theory, Practice, and Structure 

    3. Patriarchy in Psychoanalytic Theory and Organizations: The Oedipus Complex as Ideology 

    Stephen Seligman

    4. Outlining the Psychoanalytic "Playbook" toward a Transgressive Collective Response-Ability 

    Katie Gentile

    5. Confusion of Wills Between the Teacher and the Student: Psychoanalytic Theory and the Persistence of Gendered Abuses of Power in Psychoanalysis 

    Ali Shames-Dawson

    6. On Psychoanalysis's Invention of Patriarchy and the Democratic Significance of Anatomical Difference 

    Jill Gentile

    7. Maternally Speaking: Mothers, Daughters, and the Talking Cure 

    Lynne Layton

    8. In Search of our Mothers' Couches: Toward a Genealogy of Black Feminist Psychoanalytic Theory 

    Nikol Alexander-Floyd

    9. Unmasking Psychoanalysis: An Emperor, a Boy, and the Search for New Clothes 

    Naomi Snider

    10. Psychoanalysis in a Radically Changing World: How Do We Stand? 

    Cleonie White

    Section III: Psychoanalysis and Its Liberating Potential: A Clinical Perspective 

    11. Identity Searches and the Body 

    Susie Orbach

    12. Patriarchy, Splitting, and Hunger for the Other 

    Orna Guralnik

    13. Working with Patriarchal Countertransference 

    Eugenio A. Duarte

    14. Don't Take Up Space: How the Patriarchy Works to Undermine Trans Communities from Within 

    Griffin Hansbury

    15. "Nasty Women" - Mobilizing Female Aggression to Potentiate Women and Silence the Patriarchy 

    Janet Rivkin Zuckerman

    Section IV: Conclusion 

    16. Studies in Patriarchy: Intelligibility, Recognition, and Psychoanalysis' Category Trouble

    Sarah Schoen


    Jean Petrucelli is a training and supervising analyst, director and co-founder of the Eating Disorders, Compulsions and Addictions Service (EDCAS), a one-year certificate program, and founder and chair of the Conference Advisory Board (CAB) at the William Alanson White Institute. She is a clinical professor of Psychology and clinical consultant for New York University’s Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis and adjunct faculty at the Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy. Dr. Petrucelli is an associate editor for Contemporary Psychoanalysis and the editor of five books, including Body-States: Interpersonal and Relational Perspectives on the Treatment of Eating Disorders, (Routledge, 2015). She specializes in the interpersonal treatment of eating disorders and addictions. Dr. Petrucelli lectures nationally and internationally and is in private practice in New York City.

    Sarah Schoen is a training and supervising analyst at the William Alanson White Institute, faculty and supervisor at the Eating Disorders, Compulsions and Addictions Program at the William Alanson White Institute, and clinical professor of Psychology at the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. She teaches and writes about the clinical implications of the relational turn, narcissistic states in patient and analyst, complex trauma, and the gendered meanings in transference-countertransference matrices. She is on the editorial board of Contemporary Psychoanalysis and is in private practice in Manhattan’s Flatiron District.

    Naomi Snider is a psychoanalyst in New York City and a graduate of the William Alanson White Institute’s Certificate Program in Psychoanalysis. She writes about the intersections of social injustice and psychological struggle and has been invited to speak on these topics at analytic institutes, colleges, and schools. Her published works include Why Does Patriarchy Persist? (2018; co-authored with Carol Gilligan). She has a background in commercial and human rights law and graduated with a Master of Laws from New York University and a Bachelor of Laws from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

    "Patriarchy and Its Discontents is a gripping and original compendium of powerful confrontations with an old problem that vexes our mental and cultural life. An impressive group of authors grapple in exciting and illuminating ways with the question of how to analyze and resist the ever-mutating forms of this most fundamental source of human subjugation."

    Jessica Benjamin, author, Beyond Doer and Done To: Recognition Theory Intersubjectivity and the Third

    "Patriarchy and its Discontents boldly occupies the fraught and creative space carved out by the explosive encounter between psychoanalysis and feminism that has been making news for over a century. 'Patriarchy', a formal term claimed by feminists, and 'Discontents', the ironic thesis deployed by analysts, are here unleashed in these pages, each acting on the other in the service of making the kind of 'good trouble' neither could make on its own. These chapters, no matter their explicit focus, all hold the tension between the theoretical and the clinical, the personal and the political – and in so doing they showcase their big ambitions. No one can write in this space without striving for moral and philosophical depth, and for emotionalized thinking that cannot be anything but bravely personal. There is no cool way to tell this story – it comes out to get you, author and reader alike. Kudos to everyone on this big, wide, soulful project!"

    Virginia Goldner, faculty, NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy; founding editor, Studies in Gender and Sexuality; on-camera clinical advisor to Orna Guralnik, Showtime docuseries, Couples Therapy

    "When I entered the psychoanalytic field in the early fifties, patriarchy was firmly in the driver’s seat; older, White, European (Teutonic) patriarchy at that. Over the past seven decades I have witnessed the most remarkable breakdown in that hegemony. We are now in the midst of radical revolutions in our tenets both in psychoanalysis and in the culture at large. Issues of race, gender, and genotype are all shifting rapidly, as are our presumptions about our own function as psychotherapists. We can no longer hide from the dynamics of power and its abuses. Petrucelli, Schoen, and Snider have organized a stellar collection of chapters and authors that heed this call. They show us where we’ve been, where we are, and one hopes offer glimpses into where we’re going. I wholeheartedly recommend this seminal book to readers in and out of our field who are interested in making sense of the chaotic sweep of change that is taking us into the future."

    Edgar A. Levenson, fellow emeritus, training, supervisory analyst and faculty, William Alanson White Institute; adjunct clinical professor of psychology, NYU Postdoc