Exploring Neutrality in a Diverse World

with Marco Posadas, MSW, RSW

Part of the Centene Charitable Foundation Speakers Series


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PosadasDate: Thursday, February 27. 2020

Time:  7:00 p.m.

Location: Donald Danforth Plant Science Center,  975 N Warson Rd, Olivette, MO 63132

Fee: $25 (non-refundable)

This interactive evening will explore how Freud’s conceptualization of the term neutrality  was  culturally  influenced, and embedded with internalized  racism.

The  program  will  describe  an  anti-oppressive  approach to neutrality,  that  attempts  to  highlight  the  usefulness  of  neutrality as a  way of not-othering patients  who are people of color,  and/or  LGBTQ  identified. This  anti-oppressive  use  of  neutrality de-colonizes and opens up the room  to  understand  the  concepts  of  “blank  screen,”  and  “opaque  mirror,”  as  racialized/racist  enactments  when  working  with  such  patients.

These  concepts,  and  others  will  be  explained  and  discussed  in  the  program.  We will explore ways of preventing such enactments with an anti-oppressive approach, that strives to address internalized, anti-black racism and  white  supremacy,  in  both  sides  of the therapeutic dyad.  This exploration  will  include  an  approach  that  applies  clinical  neutrality,  through  the  use  of  clinical  composites,  so  as  to  consider  the  different  racial  intersections   that   impact   marginalized  populations,  including  LGBTQ  identified and persons of color.

Psychoanalysis   has   been criticized  historically,  by  clinicians  and  academics  from  within  and  outside  of  psychoanalysis,  for  adhering  to  a  rigid  version  of  neutrality.  Schools  within psychoanalysis including Self Psychology,  Intersubjective  Theory,  and  Relational  Psychoanalysis  have  argued   that   Freud’s   definition   of   neutrality  is  arbitrary,  obsolete,  and  when   practiced   dogmatically,   can   harm patients.   This presentation will provide an opportunity  for  professionals,  and  the  interested  public  to  become  familiar   with   psychoanalytic   theory   and  concepts  within  the  context  of  racism and gender diversity.