When Social Privilege Favors the Patient: Power Negotiations and Confused Subordination in Psychotherapy

August 21, 2020 at 6:30 PM

Malin Fors is an Erikson Scholar at the Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge, MA.Yasmin Roberts Memorial Lecture

Virtual Friday Night Guest Lecture with Malin Fors 

NOTE: This Friday Night Guest Lecture is s a VIRTUAL event. Please check back later for registration and continuing education information. Sign up for our regular e-newsletter to stay up-to-date on all Riggs news and events.    

This lecture will focus on the seldom-addressed therapeutic dyad in which social privilege favors the patient. Through her matrix of relative privilege, Fors discussed how social powers issues are inevitably negotiated in the therapeutic setting and how this process plays out in transference, countertransference, and resistance. Drawing on empirical research from other areas on how people handle sudden loss of privilege, Fors explores the implications of such disparities and explores playful (versus more narcissistically defensive) ways to handle clinical situations in which a patient is dependent on a socially less-privileged therapist.  

Malin Fors is a Swedish psychologist and psychoanalyst living in the world’s northernmost town, Hammerfest, Norway. She has worked for a decade at the local hospital’s psychiatric outpatient unit and also has a busy private practice. She is an assistant professor at the University of Tromsø, the Arctic University of Norway, where she teaches medical students on topics of diversity, privilege awareness, and critical perspectives on cultural competency. For more than 10 years, as a guest lecturer at Gothenburg University in Sweden, Fors has taught clinical psychology students about how issues of power, privilege, and gender create biases in the assessment of psychopathology. She is the 2016 recipient of the Division 39 Johanna Tabin Award for her book A Grammar of Power in Psychotherapy, released last year by APA Press. She was featured in a demonstration DVD in the APA Psychotherapy Video Series, released in October 2018.  

1.5 hours