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King, S. (2019). President's Report. Fort Da, 25(2):4-5.
(2019). Fort Da, 25(2):4-5
Stephanie King, Psy.D.
What do Band-Aids and psychoanalytic psychology have in common?
On April 19, 2019, Dominique Apollon, Ph.D., tweeted a picture of a True-Colour Bandage (not Band-Aid brand) on his pinkie finger. At the time, he had a few hundred followers. “It's taken me 45 trips around the sun,” he wrote, “but for the first time in my life, I know what it feels like to have a “band-aid” in my own skin tone. You can barely even spot it in the first image. For real I'm holding back tears.” In four days, over 500,000 likes and more than 100,000 shares were posted in response. On this topic Apollon later wrote, “The products — or absence thereof — are just symbols of a far broader exclusion, the deeper wound reflected in our collective experience of racism and its manifestations in our everyday lives…. We live within the context of a far broader anti-blackness that much of mainstream white society — and the institutions that are supposed to serve all of us — refuse to admit even exists.”
As I continue on to the second half of my Presidency, with the commitment to create more inclusion within the organization, Apollon's last sentence rings in my head. I'm left contemplating the idea of psychoanalytic psychology as the proverbial “flesh”-colored Band-Aid. Historically, who is this particular type of psychology made for? Who do our institutions cater to? Who do we treat? Who gets to study our theories? Who shows up at these spaces? People with a certain flesh color, that's who. In graduate school and in training, professors and instructors often reminded us that psychoanalysis was born in a particular cultural climate. Freud within turn-of-the-century, anti-Semitic Vienna and Winnicott in a post-World War II era. The ways in which the sociopolitical climate impacted the formulation, growth, and use of psychoanalytic ideas is frequently highlighted in the literature. There is no denying the ghosts of history, nor the historical trauma that permeates our psychoanalytic theories. In 2019, we, too, are in a particular sociopolitical climate.
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