Race in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy




In this course, we will create new perspectives on the interaction of race and class for psychoanalytic theory and technique through close readings of theory and shared clinical experience. We will challenge cultural assumptions that influenced the advent of psychoanalysis, and may still be carried out in our own contemporary psychotherapeutic practices. We will turn to Fanon over multiple weeks to consider 1) the effect of language and the body on the colonized subject’s experience of race and class, 2) the racialized impact of power and the structural effect of racism on unconscious processes, and the clinical implications thereof, and 3) examine theories and strategies for recognition as explicated in modern clinical practice. We will then turn to post-colonial theory to think about how pathology is repeated and reinforced through the political and the normative, and to think about the trauma of colonial conflict for both the colonized and the colonizer. By honouring the effects of racially based trauma and violence, we will always turn our discussions to current socio-cultural race and class arrangements and to the experience of our patients and that which is re-enacted in the clinical moment.


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