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Lynne Layton on ‘Social Psychoanalysis, Normative Unconscious Processes, and an Ethic of Repair.

June 5 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

We are delighted to invite you to join us for a public lecture by Lynne Layton on ‘Social Psychoanalysis, Normative Unconscious Processes, and an Ethic of Repair. The lecture is part of the seminar series on ‘Decolonising Counselling and Psychotherapy: Reflections from Psychosocial Perspectives’, organised by Nini Kerr, Rhea Gandhi, and Mariya Levitanus, in collaboration with the Association for Psychosocial Studies.
When: Wednesday, 5th June, from 2-3pm.
How: MS Teams – please contact Rhea Gandhi for the link to join the event
Session abstract
This talk takes up the question of what a social psychoanalysis might look like in the clinic, in our psychoanalytic institutions, and in our society. Drawing on some earlier psychoanalysts’ concepts that have connected the social world and the psychic world, I introduce the concept of normative unconscious processes, which addresses the ways that racism, heterosexism, classism and other social inequalities are unconsciously replicated in the clinic. The talk then explores how therapists can resist unconsciously replicating such cultural inequalities. We will then look outside the clinic at how cultural inequalities manifest in the wider circles of contemporary institutional and sociocultural life. Here, too, we will explore how we, as citizens and therapists, both unconsciously replicate and can resist replicating harmful, unequal relations. We will think together about how to address the places in our different subjective and communal worlds where harm has been done, and engage together on how to make repair.
Author bio:
Lynne Layton has a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and in Clinical Psychology. She is a psychoanalyst and has taught and supervised at the Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis. She is also a Corresponding Member of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Psychiatry Department at Harvard Medical School. Lynne is the author of Who’s That Girl? Who’s That Boy? Clinical Practice Meets Postmodern Gender Theory, and co-editor of 3 books: Narcissism and the Text: Studies in Literature and the Psychology of Self; Bringing the Plague: Toward a Postmodern Psychoanalysis; and Psychoanalysis, Class and Politics: Encounters in the Clinical Setting. From 2004-2017, she was co-editor of the journal Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society and she is currently an associate editor of Psychoanalytic Dialogues. She is a past-President of Psychoanalysis for Social Responsibility and founded Reflective Spaces/Material Places-Boston, a group of psychodynamic therapists committed to community mental health and social justice. Lynne is on the organizing committee of a national Black-led reparations campaign. She is the author of the 2020 book Toward a Social Psychoanalysis: Culture, Character, and Normative Unconscious Processes, winner of a 2021 book award from the American Academy and Board of Psychoanalysis.
Please contact Rhea Gandhi for the link to join the event.


June 5
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Event Category: