Authenticity in Therapeutic Encounters: Towards an Ethic of Disillusionment

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract / Description of output

This paper explores psychosocially what it means to practise authentically. What role does authenticity play in the creative, relational dimensions of therapeutic practice? How may it help us contest the Eurocentric system of therapeutic practice that so often places an implicit demand on the non-white practitioners to ‘blanch’ (Merchant, 2020) themselves in order to fit in? Through offering psychosocial reflections on a piece of client work, and its inevitable failing, I bring to light the tyranny of the psychoanalytic syntax which reproduces a particular system of meanings and manners that, when adopted by the therapist, are seen as proper; moreover, how this analytic propriety demands the racialised practitioner to suppress individual and cultural differences in exchange for approval by or access to the psychoanalytic institution. My psychosocial reflections work closely with Layton’s (2019) concept of ‘ethic of disillusionment’ through which I explore the effects of the problematic phenomenon of nostalgia for whiteness in psychoanalytic spaces. Indeterminacy and disquiet are the jazz of non-conformists. I let this stream in the background while grappling with the generative tension between value and knowledge in academic inquiry; between truthfulness and rightfulness in therapeutic practice; and between true-self and false-self in relationships.
Merchant, A. (2020) ‘Don’t be put off by my name’, Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 21:2, 104-112.
Layton, L. (2019) ‘Transgenerational hauntings: Toward a social psychoanalysis and an ethic of dis-illusionment’. Psychoanalytic Dialogues 29(2): 105–121
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2022
Event2022 APCS Annual Conference: Totalitarianism and Psychoanalysis: Psychosocial Perspectives on Fear and Anxiety - New Brunswick, NJ , United States
Duration: 21 Oct 202222 Oct 2022
https://www.apcsweb.net/conference/

Conference

Conference2022 APCS Annual Conference: Totalitarianism and Psychoanalysis: Psychosocial Perspectives on Fear and Anxiety
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Brunswick, NJ
Period21/10/2222/10/22
Internet address

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