Home

Reflections on the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society (APCS) Annual Conference

Share

|

Marilyn Charles, Ph.D., ABPPAs their website states, “The Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society (APCS) is an international organization whose members are devoted to analyzing aesthetic, social, cultural, and political situations through various psychoanalytic lenses.” Below, APCS co-chair and Austen Riggs Center staff psychologist Marilyn Charles, PhD, ABPP, offers her reflection on the recent APCS annual conference.

The annual conference of the (APCS) is always a rich experience, with clinicians, academics and psychosocial researchers coming to talk across disciplines, perspectives and stages of professional development about the problems we face.  This year's conference theme was “Border Tensions: Troubling Psychoanalysis.” The conference began with a keynote speech by psychoanalyst and writer Sudhir Kakar, inviting the audience to consider ways in which cultural myths and stories both enrich and complicate our conversations.  

The following morning began with a panel on trauma, in which trauma was considered from various angles, highlighting ways in which trauma dehumanizes individuals and impedes identity development.  Participants discussed ways in which one individual's experience of trauma can silence others, whether in a family, workplace, or in the classroom.  “How we might overcome conditions of trauma?” was a question asked by each presenter.  Notable for our efforts to intervene at the system level was a discussion of the difficulties encountered by 'whistleblowers' in healing from the whistleblowing experience sufficiently to move on and once again take up their lives.  

The whistleblowing discussion invited us to consider ways in which an 'inconvenient' idea or truth can be so massively opposed that it cannot register.  The relationship between the new idea and the establishment is one that was highlighted by psychoanalyst Wilfred Bion some decades ago.  Considering reflectively the ways in which we as individuals and citizens fail in relation to the various tasks and challenges of daily life offers the hope that comes from envisioning a better future.  And yet, it is difficult to consider our own failings.  Recognizing that difficulty might help us to support one another in trying to recognize and work at resolving the various inconvenient truths we encounter, whether in our personal relationships, in the workplace or in our communities, so that we can join together to solve our problems rather than sabotaging our own efforts by being blind to the parts we play.

For more information about APCS, visit their website: http://www.apcsweb.net/

Blog Tags: 

Share

|