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Samuels, A. Krause, I. (2012). Msebele, Naison & Brown, Hilary. ‘Racism in the consulting room: myth or reality’. Psychoanalytic Review, 2011, 98, 4. J. Anal. Psychol., 57(4):554-556.

(2012). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 57(4):554-556

Msebele, Naison & Brown, Hilary. ‘Racism in the consulting room: myth or reality’. Psychoanalytic Review, 2011, 98, 4

Review by:
Andrew Samuels

Inga-Britt Krause


Racial dynamics in the therapy situation resist simple analysis. We are dealing with a construct that, whilst not existing at all on one level, exercises the most extreme forms of social and political power on another. The authors of what is essentially a nuanced and critical review article take nothing for granted, not even the benevolence and desirability of therapy and analysis themselves. The argument that cultural history plays a part when persons of different heritage gather to do therapy is, by now, well established. But these authors provide a stimulating discussion of the relations between centre and margins, insiders and outsiders, haves and have-nots, ‘Whites’ and ‘Blacks’ - that goes beyond liberal clichés that are content to praise the mere access of ‘unconscious racism’ on the part of either analyst or patient in the consulting room. The piece is all the more interesting for its internationalism. The authors reside in Britain. One is a Black South African. Yet much of their discourse shows a well-informed take on US politics. This is timely in view of the Presidential election of November 2012.


This paper by two contemporary Jungian analysts seeks to put talking and reflecting about race on the agenda as something for therapists to encourage in the analytic session and in therapeutic encounters generally. Perhaps one should say ‘back on the agenda’ as the authors take inspiration from Andrew Curry, who addressed this in this Journal in 1964.

[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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