Psychoanalysis, Class and Politics: Encounters in the Clinical Setting

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Lynne Layton, Nancy Caro Hollander, Susan Gutwill
Taylor & Francis, Sep 12, 2006 - Political Science - 240 pages
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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.

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About the author (2006)

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.

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