Erikson Institute

From Couch to Culture Through the Therapeutic Community

Margaret Parish, Ph.D.
Published on 
July 2012

Individuals find and relive their histories of object relations in new social settings. Any social group, in turn, enlists individuals into roles that serve the purposes of others in the group. Full understanding of a person requires an understanding of this interplay between personal history and social context, which reveals new dimensions to problems that at first appear intrapsychic, but that an individual perspective alone cannot solve. In this paper I offer examples from a psychoanalytic therapeutic community designed with the intention of fostering self-knowledge at the collective as well as the individual level. Such a culture encourages individuals to examine the personal-social interface as it manifests in the present day. In a treatment environment, this examination can reveal the social roots of psychopathology to foster change. As a social microcosm, such an environment illuminates the unconscious dynamics present in any individual's encounter with any organization. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

From couch to culture through the therapeutic community. Parish, Margaret, Psychoanalytic Psychology, Vol 29(3), Jul 2012, 330-345. doi: 10.1037/a0023827

Copyright © 2012 by the American Psychological Association. Reproduced with permission. The official citation that should be used in referencing this material is From couch to culture through the therapeutic community. Parish, Margaret, Psychoanalytic Psychology, Vol 29(3), Jul 2012, 330-345. The use of APA information does not imply endorsement by APA.

 

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