PSYCHOANALYSIS ON THE STREET
by: LAURIE BELL, M.A.
FRONTLINE PSYCHOANALYSIS: TO THE SPEAKERS' BUREAU AND BEYOND!
Following the editorial comment published in last month's Impulse, in which editor-in-chief Matthew Morrissey, MFT expressed a wish to bridge the chasm between psychoanalysis and the general public by fostering dialogue in the tradition of Winnicott, I accepted the invitation to contribute my own imagined proposal for buttressing and expanding the bridges between psychoanalysis and "the street." Mr. Morrissey, I will see your "speaker's bureau" and raise you a "training program in applied psychoanalytic psychosocial practice for milieu settings."
The problematic relationship between professional psychoanalysis and public life that Morrissey outlined in his remarks points to the urgent need for training programs designed specifically for those who work in the frontlines of milieu settings, operating within an environment that is (under) funded and (over) regulated by the big pharma-insurance corporate capital that marginalizes psychoanalytic participation. A training program modeled after Access Institute or, if I may be so bold, that would be adopted as a program cohort of Access Institute, would offer a curriculum and supervised clinical practicum directed entirely toward the labor sector that is working frontline in community-based and institutional settings of residential care, transitional services, rehab and recovery modalities, the criminal justice and mass incarceration system, and would include candidates from community-generated alternatives to the non-profit industrial complex.
This program cohort would extend the concepts and clinical strategies of psychoanalytic psychology to the effort of working with individual and group psychodynamics, associations, enactments and interpretations that take place at the dinner table or in a life skills class or riding the bus or in countless locations and ways that make up daily life in psychosocial services and grassroots efforts. Integrating psychoanalytic concepts into a practice within this highly contested field is its own art form deserving of its own pedagogy.
It will be the members of these psychosocial cohorts that will in turn place the demand on a speakers bureau to welcome analysts to educate, inspire and consult with workers, clients, parents and families, and the vanguard of the general public who are on the frontlines of prevention and treatment, parenting and family life, education and mental health in the context of social change.
Laurie Bell, M.A. is the founder of Clinical Assessment Canada, providing psychosocial assessment for victims of torture and other survivors of traumatic stress seeking asylum as refugees. She will be performing Singalong Psychoanalysis: A Training Case in the Bay Area Sept 2012. firstname.lastname@example.org.