The Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society (APCS) is hosting its 2012 Annual Conference at Rutgers University Continuing Education Center, New Brunswick, NJ from October 19-20, 2012. I will be presenting a paper on Friday afternoon for any of those interested. My paper is entitled “Lacanian Considerations of Neutrality, Self-Disclosure and Social Conformity”.
Here’s my abstract:
The classical psychoanalyst’s neutral posture has been strongly critiqued by relational and intersubjective psychoanalysts (e.g. Renik 1995; Orange & Stolorow, 1998) who advocate for a more authentic, transparent encounter wherein the analyst self-discloses and sacrifices the myth of analytic neutrality and objectivity. Following Lacan, it is my contention that the classical analyst’s stoic, removed posture and the relational analyst’s authentic, genuine stance are both false choices that do not properly help the patient re-think individual and social realities. In the face of economic recession, growing debt and political insecurity I believe that psychoanalytic thinkers must reconsider their analytic position vis-à-vis the Symbolic Order in treatment. For example, Parker (2009) has criticized the ideology of relationality as a liberal, de-radicalized political platform that simply reinforces capitalism and social adaptation. Similarly, Malone and Sowecke (1997) have considered the ways in which analytic neutrality can be interpreted as an implicit endorsement of the status quo, emphasizing social adaptation as the goal of psychoanalysis. I will argue that Lacan’s (2006) understanding of transference and countertransference dynamics (and the subject-supposed-to-know) offer ways to critically resist social conformity as the aim of psychoanalysis. Rather, psychoanalytic clinicians should focus on igniting the patient’s desires, which invariably includes an analysis of the social structures that produce false selves, identifications, and desires. After reviewing the literature on neutrality, countertransference and self-disclosure I will offer a Lacanian critique of standard psychoanalytic theory with a particular focus on the relationship between social conformity and analytic neutrality and the implications of treatment.
I’ll be posting more on other talks as the information is made available.