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Delboy, S. (2020). A Country of Two: Race and Social Class in an Immigrant Therapeutic Dyad. Psychoanal. Dial., 30(1):90-101.

(2020). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 30(1):90-101

A Country of Two: Race and Social Class in an Immigrant Therapeutic Dyad

Santiago Delboy, MBA, LCSW

This paper explores some of the ways in which social structures and fantasies organized around race and social class emerge in the intersubjective space created by a patient and a therapist who emigrated from the same country. Incorporating some of his own experiences of identity and otherness, the author discusses, through the lens of his countertransference, how communicating with the patient in their native language allowed for access to early internal object-relations, unconscious threats to his sense of belonging, racialized self-states, and feelings of shame associated to some of these dissociated self-states rooted in historical oppression and trauma. The author suggests that the “country of two” populated by patient and therapist is a dynamic co-created space, that emerges from the dialectic interplay of sameness and difference along the lines of race, social class, and culture.

[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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