This course is open to those who have completed the One-Year Fundamentals Course in Relational Studies. The Advanced Clinical Program focuses on the application of gender, sexuality, and race theory to contemporary relational therapeutic work. Over the course of a year, we will look at how bodies perform gender, sexuality, and race, and how the legacies of ideology performed by the body point to the psychic and the social in the unconscious. By turning to the Other-ed body, we will study the effects of lack and absence in socio-cultural space, and the resonances thereof in the clinical encounter. Critical race theory, queer theory, trans studies, and post-colonial texts will help us situate the psyche within the cultural and the political, and will help us to formulate the body as both haunted and haunting, static and multiple, material and indeterminate. Importantly, we will also consider how contemporary psychoanalysts use gender, race, and sexuality to give a political voice to that which cannot and should not be spoken, thus opening avenues for subversion, mourning, and recognition. We will consider current events in South Africa through the lens of psychoanalytic gender, race, and queer theory so as to deepen our understanding of relational studies in view of our inevitable situation and participation in the maelstrom of culture, society, and politics. We will see how, as a result of theoretical advances in contemporary psychoanalysis, subjectivities that were previously fated to the edges of heteronormativity and white male privilege are reconsidered as intelligible when the analyst, along with their patient, can begin to explore their own attitudes, values, and prejudice. By accepting our inadvertent implication in societal and clinical processes, as clinicians we can foster a greater understanding of our own constructed identities, and a deeper awareness of our unwitting complicity in the othering that frequently occurs in our own treatments. To do this, we will pay particular attention to racialized, cultural, gendered, and sexualized enactments as they occur in the therapeutic relationship. Finally, we will look at the ways in which the ripples of historical, collective trauma bleed into the personal (as comprised of the social, the political, and the cultural), and consider psychoanalytic notions of resistance, repair, reconciliation, and forgiveness.
Those participating in this advanced course should bring a desire to use a cultural perspective as a manner of exploring not only what we co-create with our patients, but to contribute more generally to a process of deconstructing oppressive systems.