We hope you were able to be there with us for the 2017 Paul A. Dewald, MD, Lecture

Part of the Centene Charitable Foundation Speakers Series…

Understanding Race, Social Class, and Culture Through a Psychoanalytic LensAltman jpeg

Presenter:  Neil Altman, PhD

This lecture on November 30 was an interactive dialogue, focusing on the ways the social categories of race, social class, and culture can be understood from a psychoanalytic point of view. The evening looked at the way “whiteness” is constructed in U.S. society, along with the implications for the racial and social class status of various ethnic groups in this country — and the intersection of racial, social class, and cultural categories will be explored, both in psychotherapy and in daily life.

On Friday, December 1, the dialogue continued with a conversation on KWMU’s St. Louis on the Air.

Please listen in… click HERE

Psychoanalysis is helping people understand race, class and culture

  St. Louis on the Air

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with Neil Altman about understanding race, social class and culture through a psychoanalytic lens. Also joining the discussion was Lenita Newberg, director of the Advanced Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Program at the St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute.

Altman is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist and faculty member at William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry. His practice aims to help people with serious psychological disorders understand and change complex emotional and relationship problems to alleviate distress.

He said having a psychoanalytical point of view is something that can operate on a group level. When groups of people feel they are not heard or recognized, a shared experience is created which contributes to group formations around political movements.

“The important thing at the moment is that St. Louis is at the epicenter of a lot of the tension around racial and cultural social class categories right now,” Altman said. “A psychoanalytic institute has to be able to have something to say about that if it wants to be relevant in today’s world.”

Psychoanalysts recognize when people are feeling unheard and try to respond to that. He said psychoanalysis is a constant process of consciousness raising; having to deal with what makes people feel guilty and ashamed and how people are socialized in certain attitudes.

The St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute is an educational institute that trains people in psychotherapy and analysis.

“We have a growing number of students that are mental health professionals … trying to do the work of helping people feel heard,” Newberg said.

Neil Altman is faculty at the William Alanson Institute in New York City, Honorary Member of the William Alanson White Society, and Visiting faculty at Ambedkar University of Delhi, India.  He is Editor Emeritus and Associate Editor of Psychoanalytic Dialogues: The International Journal of Relational Perspectives, Associate Editor and Board Member of the Journal of Infant, Child, and Adolescent Psychotherapy, and the International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies.  He was a Founding Board Member of the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy.  His most recent book is Psychoanalysis in Times of Accelerating Cultural Change: Spiritual Globalization (2015).  He also is author of The Analyst in the Inner City: Race, Class and Culture through a Psychoanalytic Lens, (2010) and co-author of Relational Child Psychotherapy (2002).  Dr. Altman has published over 60 journal articles