FOCUS ON – Working While White

“Working While White” : Grappling with Whiteness in Psychoanalytic Theory and the Clinical Setting

Molly Merson, LMFT, and Elise Geltman, LCSW

Tuesdays Sep 15–Oct 20, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM, 6 sessions

flyerWhite clinicians and white theories are often central in psychoanalysis, whereas “whiteness” as an ideology or social construct itself is assumed rather than named. What ends up being named is the “other” via “race”: Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) are hypervisible while “whiteness” remains invisible and normative. Borrowing its name from systemic racist enactments that happen routinely (e.g. “Driving While Black” or “Flying While Muslim”), this course aims to center and problematize structural whiteness as it is enacted in clinical dyads, theoretical concepts, and institutional life. Participants will have an opportunity to enhance their awareness of structural whiteness, its history, and its enactments; engage in personal and group learning about how structural whiteness is mobilized, and reflect deeply about the implications of whiteness on our clinical work. For example, we may take up core psychoanalytic concepts such as the unconscious, transference/countertransference, container/contained, “integration,” resistance, frame, “freedom,” mutuality, recognition, reverie, “no memory and no desire,” and the third via the lens of structural whiteness. We pose the question: can we interrogate whiteness embedded in psychoanalytic concepts, and can we use those same concepts to understand something about whiteness? This course includes readings, didactic materials, dialogue, clinical illustrations, and emergent group process. The “instructors” will serve as facilitators for the group and collective learning. This course is open to anyone who identifies as white or has white-identifying parts and is interested in exploring and attending to whiteness.

We would like this course to be available to all who want to attend. Please request a scholarship or sliding scale fee if you need or want one. All requests will be handled in a way that respects your privacy.

The facilitators’ fees will be donated to the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust and the RYSE Center.

September 15th, 2020 7:30 PM
Online via Zoom (Pacific Time Zone)
United States
Event Fee(s)
General Admission $ 245.00
PINC Members $ 200.00
Students and Candidates $ 150.00