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Esprey, Y. (2017). The Problem of Thinking in Black and White: Race in the South African Clinical Dyad. Psychoanal. Dial., 27(1):20-35.

(2017). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 27(1):20-35

The Problem of Thinking in Black and White: Race in the South African Clinical Dyad Related Papers

Yvette M. Esprey, B.A. Hons. M.A.

Race, as it presents itself within the clinical dyad as an aspect of the relationship between therapist and patient, has scarcely been written about from an experience-near perspective within the South African context. This paper focuses on the difficulty of speaking and writing about race. It contends that race as a construct and as an aspect of subjectivity has the potential to interrupt the therapist’s capacity to think, in Bionian terms, and to prevent entry into the reverie that is crucial to the creation of an analytic third. Written through a relational psychoanalytic lens and drawing on the concepts of the normative unconscious and the anti-analytic third, the paper refers to clinical vignettes to illustrate the collapse in thinking and the progression to beginning to think, anew, about the race-nuanced, intersubjective space between patient and therapist.

[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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