Psychoanalytic Voices

 

Psychoanalysis in El Barrio

Psychoanalysis in El Barrio

The film features ten psychoanalysts from a variety of Latin heritages reflecting on the complexities of working with issues of culture, class, immigration, language, ethnicity and race within the Hispanic population.  El Barrio is the name given to Hispanic neighborhoods riddled by socioeconomic challenges. Very soon, the viewer can recognize the applicability of these reflections to other marginalized groups of people. [Read more]
The Truth Just Twists

The Truth Just Twists

The following post includes an analysis of Bob Dylan's lyrics entitled Psychedelic Irony in "The Truth Just Twists: Psychadelic Irony in "The Gates of Eden" by Sara Gates followed by a response entitled "Deep Listening, Close Reading; or How are a Songwriter and an English Professor like a Psychoanalyst?" by Mara Wagner. [Read more]
Mythbusting Psychoanalysis

Mythbusting Psychoanalysis

It’s not what you think. It’s more than you imagine. [Read more]
More Movie Analysis: The Lovers

More Movie Analysis: The Lovers

I attended the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute’s (BPSI’s) film night at the Coolidge Corner Cinema in May, where The Lovers was on the screen and “off the couch” in the discussion that followed. In this film (spoiler alert) a middle aged married couple carry on long term, lackluster affairs with needy lovers and avoid each other at home, each hoping the other has to “work late” again. The action, slow and almost painfully protracted, is as if choreographed in slow motion; the BPSI discussant likened it to a silent film in this regard. Indeed, there is little language. We feel the unhappiness, the boredom, the stuckness of this couple not only with each other, but with their whining and threatening lovers who are demanding that their slack partners tell their spouses they will be leaving the marriage immediately. The symmetry of the situation is near isomorphic, and to be fair, this part is a bit funny. [Read more]
Reflections on Abbas Kiarostami

Reflections on Abbas Kiarostami

Since the death of Iranian film maker Kiarostami in July of 2016, I have wanted to write something about him. Why this need to write? What is so special about Kiarostami- besides his numerous awards and critically acclaimed movies- that speaks to me? Has his death heightened his desirability? Or had he always held a special place in my heart? It is these questions I hope to explore. [Read more]
Psychoanalysis? In my Schools!?

Psychoanalysis? In my Schools!?

Recently my girlfriend and I attended a bed and breakfast which had an extensive library in the basement. I asked to purchase a few dilapidated books from the owners at a discount price, one of which was Sartre’s Existential Psychoanalysis. “Psychoanalysis – that was the academic trend a while ago so you can have that one” said one owner. “Yes, since we’ve learned more about the brain a lot of that has become irrelevant” added the other owner. They were then surprised to hear that I had recently acquired a Master’s Degree in Psychoanalytic Counseling. The look on their faces seemed to say ‘people still do that?’ “We apply it in school settings to great effect, believe it or not!” I replied. Unconvinced they changed the subject. [Read more]
School-Based Counseling:  Better than Sushi with Ice Cream

School-Based Counseling: Better than Sushi with Ice Cream

One September day in 2014 my first child client walked through the door of my office with his head down and hands clasped tightly together. He sat in silence for the entire session. Joey had selective mutism and did not speak a word to me for several weeks—an experience teachers and students had with him on a daily basis. I remember thinking to myself that first day, “Why in the world did I sign up for the school-based fellowship program? I have no idea what I am doing when treating kids.” [Read more]
A Discussion of the Oliver Stone film, Snowden

A Discussion of the Oliver Stone film, Snowden

We might say that in some ways, the structure of Stone’s narrative follows the common anxieties of a child transitioning from innocence to growing complexity in his experience of the world. We start with Snowden being a young idealist, who doesn’t seem to notice or mind the unsavory actions of his government and views himself as part of a larger, beautiful, and all good nation where the big problems are not really reflected on and even less criticized, but just accepted as the way things are from the point of view of his reality. His girlfriend, Lindsey, has her own ideas, but he writes them off initially as just “her reality.” So he is safe in his image of being an all-good warrior fighting in the name of, and in some ways fused with, the all-good and powerful country. My country is good, and I am good. [Read more]
From Confidence to Incompetence: A Backwards Journey

From Confidence to Incompetence: A Backwards Journey

In learning theory there is the idea that we move from being in a place of “unconscious incompetence” to unconscious competence, stopping in between at conscious incompetence and conscious competence. This has been my story. I had to learn I wasn’t the therapist I thought I was, in order to get on the road toward being the therapist I wanted to be. [Read more]
Addiction: Our Best Frenemy

Addiction: Our Best Frenemy

By Guest Blogger Richard Achiro, PhD. Someone recently told me that it would be best for everyone if addicts just died. She was referring to a reality TV show featuring a miserable woman who struggles with drug addiction. Despite my initial shock at its tactlessness, her comment made me ponder the prospect that this fantasy to “off the addict” may in fact be quite widespread (albeit more hidden from most of our awareness). The fantasy that all of the problems in a family or even of the world can be packed into someone/something and then done away with is very attractive. [Read more]