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Scott, A. (2014). Editorial. Brit. J. Psychother., 30(2):133-135.

(2014). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 30(2):133-135

Editorial

Ann Scott

The BJP is proud to publish Salman Akhtar's keynote presentation from last autumn's Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Now conference in London. The conference theme was ‘Getting to grips with society's ills: a psychoanalytic perspective. Bridging the clinical and academic study of psychoanalysis with political discourse and social policy’. In an electrifying presentation, Akhtar addressed the psychic experience of minorities in specific settings, in the context of a global perspective on majority-minority relations. He proposes that the unease felt by minorities ‘arises from their being used as dehumanized targets of the majority's projections’, and from the ‘figure-ground discord in their subjectivity’. The argument is wide-ranging. It makes use of the work of Freud, Winnicott, Khan and Kristeva, while remaining rooted in the actuality of the psychosocial world and a commitment to ‘psychoanalytically informed’ change in that world. It is framed by an epigraph from the work of the distinguished sociologist Stuart Hall, who sadly died while this issue of the BJP was in production. Akhtar's theme of mental pain is contained by Hall's overarching and nuanced perspective on ideologies as ‘a site of a distinct type of social struggle’.

We move on to two further papers in the ‘Essentially Ours, Specifically …’ series. In my last Editorial I invited readers to ‘allow the different languages to reverberate, thus deepening understanding of the similarities and differences between approaches’.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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