Do political concerns belong in psychodynamic treatment?
How do class and politics shape the unconscious?
The effects of an increasingly polarized, insecure and threatening world mean that the ideologically enforced split between the political order and personal life is becoming difficult to sustain. This book explores the impact of the social and political domains at the individual level.
The contributions included in this volume describe how issues of class and politics, and the intense emotions they engender, emerge in the clinical setting and how psychotherapists can respectfully address them rather than deny their significance. They demonstrate how clinicians need to take into account the complex convergences between psychic and social reality in the clinical setting in order to help their patients understand the anxiety, fear, insecurity and anger caused by the complex relations of class and power. This examination of the psychodynamics of terror and aggression and the unconscious defences employed to deny reality offers powerful insights into the microscopic unconscious ways that ideology is enacted and lived.
Psychoanalysis, Class and Politics will be of interest to all mental health professionals interested in improving their understanding of the ideological factors that impede or facilitate critical and engaged citizenship. It has a valuable contribution to make to the psychoanalytic enterprise, as well as to related scholarly and professional disciplines.
Table of Contents
Psychoanalysis, Class and Politics: Encounters in the Clinical Setting - Introduction Lynne Layton, Nancy Caro Hollander, and Susan Gutwill, Working Directly with Political, Social and Cultural Material in the Therapy Session Andrew Samuels, Money, Love, and Hate: Contradiction and Paradox in Psychoanalysis Muriel Dimen, That Place Gives Me the Heebie Jeebies Lynne Layton, The Manic Society Rachael Peltz, Despair and Hope in a Culture of Denial Nancy Caro Hollander and Susan Gutwill, Class and Splitting in the Clinical Setting: The Ideological Dance in the Transference and Countertransference Susan Gutwill and Nancy Caro Hollander, Attacks on Linking: The Unconscious Pull to Dissociate Individuals from their Social Context Lynne Layton, The Normative Unconscious and the Political Contexts of Change in Psychotherapy Gary Walls, Racism, Classism, Psychosis and Self-image in the Analysis of a Woman Gary Walls, The Beheading of America: Reclaiming Our Minds Maureen Katz, Psychoanalysis and the Problem of the Bystander in Times of Terror Nancy Caro Hollander, Is Politics the Last Taboo in Psychoanalysis? A Roundtable Discussion Neil Altman, Jessica Benjamin, Ted Jacobs, and Paul Wachtel, Moderated by Amanda Hirsch Geffner Response to Roundtable: Something’s Gone Missing Muriel Dimen, Response to Roundtable: Politics and/or/in/for Psychoanalysis Andrew Samuels, Response to Roundtable: What Dare We (Not) Do? Psychoanalysis: A Voice in Politics? Cleonie White, Political Identity: A Personal Postscript Amanda Hirsch Geffner
Lynne Layton is Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She is also on the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis and is in clinical practice in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Nancy Caro Hollander is Professor Emeritus at California State University and a member of the Psychoanalytic Center of California and is in clinical practice in Los Angeles, California.
Susan Gutwill is Supervisor at the Women’s Therapy Centre Institute and is in private practice in Highland Park, New Jersey.
"I recommend this book highly. It covers a broad range of topics relevant to its title. It refuses to offer easy answers but instead provides living and vivid examples of analysts grappling with these complex issues in their own practice." - Paul Hoggett, Psychodynamic Practice, May 2007
"Psychoanalysis, Class, and Politics is and important and ground breaking book for clinical social workers who are sensitive to the relationship between psychic and social reality... For social worker psychoanalysts who are interested in all spheres of psychoanalytic inquiry, investigation, and integration, this book provides an invaluable and meaningful bridge between psychic and social reality." - Karen K. Redding, Clinical Social Work Journal, 36, 2008