1st Edition

Psychoanalysis in the Barrios Race, Class, and the Unconscious

Edited By Patricia Gherovici, Christopher Christian Copyright 2019
    260 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    260 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Psychoanalysis in the Barrios: Race, Class, and the Unconscious demonstrates that psychoanalytic principles can be applied successfully in disenfranchised Latino populations, refuting the misguided idea that psychoanalysis is an expensive luxury only for the wealthy.

    As opposed to most Latin American countries, where psychoanalysis is seen as a practice tied to the promotion of social justice, in the United States psychoanalysis has been viewed as reserved for the well-to-do, assuming that poor people lack the "sophistication" that psychoanalysis requires, thus heeding invisible but no less rigid class boundaries. Challenging such discrimination, the authors testify to the efficacy of psychoanalysis in the barrios, upending the unfounded widespread belief that poor people are so consumed with the pressures of everyday survival that they only benefit from symptom-focused interventions. Sharing vivid vignettes of psychoanalytic treatments, this collection sheds light on the psychological complexities of life in the barrio that is often marked by poverty, migration, marginalization, and barriers of language, class, and race.

    This interdisciplinary collection features essays by distinguished international scholars and clinicians. It represents a unique crossover that will appeal to readers in clinical practice, social work, counselling, anthropology, psychology, cultural and Latino studies, queer studies, urban studies, and sociology.

    Introduction Patricia Gherovici Section I: Freud with a Spanish Accent: The Latin American Experience of the Psychic Being Political Chapter 1. Freud and the Latin Americans: A Forgotten Relationship Mariano Plotkin Chapter 2: Psychoanalysts Bearing Witness: Trauma and Memory in Latin America Nancy Hollander Chapter 3: Dying to Get Out: Challenges in the Treatment of Latin American Migrants Fleeing Violent Communities Ricardo Ainslie, Hannah McDermott, Crystal Guevara Section II. Pathology of Otherness: Diagnosis in the Barrio Chapter 4: The Analyst as Interpreter: Ataque de Nervios, Puerto Rican Syndrome, and The Inexact Interpretation Christopher Christian Chapter 5: The Anxiety of Citizenship or the Psychotic as Citizen Alfredo Carrasquillo Chapter 6: Eating Brains: Latinx Barrios, Psychoanalysis, and Neuroscience Antonio Viego Section III. The Latino Queer Body: Mourning, Melancholía, and the Law Chapter 7: Visible Pleasure and Sex Policing: State, Science, and Desire in Twentieth-Century Cuba Jennifer Lambe Chapter 8: Melancholia and the Abject on Mango Street: Racialized Narratives /Psychoanalysis Ben Sifuentes-Jáuregui Chapter 9: Chencha’s Gait: Voice and Nothing in Myrta Silva Licia Fiol Matta Chapter 10: Beside Oneself: Queer Psychoanalysis and the Aesthetics of Latinidad Joshua Javier Guzmán Section IV. The Clinical is Political Chapter 11: The Political Potentiality of the Psychoanalytic Process Carlos Padrón Chapter 12: Treating Borderline Personality Disorder in El Barrio: Integrating Race and Class into Transference-Focused Psychotherapy Daniel Gaztambide Chapter 13: Psychoanalysis of Poverty, Poverty of Psychoanalysis Patricia Gherovici


    Patricia Gherovici, Ph.D. is a psychoanalyst and analytic supervisor in private practice in Philadelphia, USA. The author or editor of six books, she received the Gradiva Award and the Boyer Prize for her book The Puerto Rican Syndrome. She is co-founder and director of the Philadelphia Lacan Group and Associate Faculty, Psychoanalytic Studies Minor, University of Pennsylvania, Honorary Member at the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research (IPTAR), and Founding Member of Das Unbehagen, New York.

    Christopher Christian, Ph.D. is Editor-in-Chief of Psychoanalytic Psychology; Dean of the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research (IPTAR); co-editor with Morris Eagle and David Wolitzky of Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Conflict; and with Michael J. Diamond of The Second Century of Psychoanalysis: Evolving Perspectives on Therapeutic Action. He is the Executive Producer of the documentary Psychoanalysis in El Barrio, winner of the Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing (PEP) Video Grant award. He has a psychoanalytic private practice in Manhattan, New York City, USA.

    "Since its origins, psychoanalysis has been faced with two crucial questions: are its theories universal or culturally determined? Should treatment be made available to all, and if so, at what cost? These questions continue to haunt contemporary psychoanalytic practice. Psychoanalysis in the Barrios: Race, Class, and the Unconscious presents a diverse array of responses to and provocative reformulations of these century-old concerns, as for instance whether there is a cultural specificity to Cuban scopophilic perversions, or how one offers treatment to impoverished, working-class urban Americans? How does contemporary fiction, art, and music help us understand these questions? Patricia Gherovici’s and Chris Christian’s edited volume should be required reading for all analytic trainees and students of psychology."-Rubén Gallo, author of Freud’s Mexico: Into the Wilds of Psychoanalysis and member of the board, Sigmund Freud Museum, Vienna, Austria

    "This book may well launch a much needed revolution in the delivery of mental health services to Latino and impoverished communities. The essays in this collection, many new voices along with voices we have learned to trust and listen to, bring the reader into the world of the ‘barrio’ where our assumptions about class, and race, and gender, but also about psychoanalytic practice will be transformed. Dedicated by Gherovici and Christian to educating our profession about the injustices and distortions of mental health work in those communities, this book will actually do something much more, namely contribute to the transformation of psychoanalysis in its theories of subjectivity and in its practices. We read here to discover a community we do not easily get to know or work with. But what we will read here can alter us."-Adrienne Harris, New York University, and the Sandor Ferenczi Center at the New School, USA

    "Working in and against a U.S. medical industrial complex that seeks to commodify every aspect of health—including mental health—this sui generis collection underscores how psychoanalysis is not only possible in the barrios but indeed indispensable to it. This book achieves something truly remarkable: the integration of critical race studies with psychoanalysis. It illustrates how a retooled psychoanalytic practice can be oriented toward progressive social transformations of race, gender, class, and capitalism for Latinidad."-David L. Eng, co-author of Racial Melancholia, Racial Dissociation: On the Social and Psychic Lives of Asian Americans