Psychosocial Reflexivity in Counselling Education

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This presentation delves into the challenges of decolonising counselling and psychotherapy training, exploring difficult questions surrounding what it means, what it takes, and, most importantly, how we fail in this endeavour. Rather than assuming a linear progression towards a better future, it attends instead to the affective forces that “drag” us - trainers, trainees, the contemporary university, and its academic citizens - back into the grip of perpetual "white-time”. The critical potential of psychosocial reflexivity is illustrated through the transformation of the psychoanalytic concept of "psychic retreat" into a psychosocial one. The former describes a subject taking refuge in a narcissistic organisation to avoid the humiliation of being overlooked. The latter reconceptualises this psychic mechanism as a space for self-maintenance, enabling the radical suspension of moral judgments against oneself and others. In this space, the subject can more effectively confront troubling knowledge about themselves and recognise the mutually constitutive relationship between the psyche and society. This allows for a more nuanced understanding of the paradoxes and complexities within our subjectivity, which is essential for creating new, complex, and aesthetic forms of lived experiences.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2023


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