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Tip: To see Abram’s analysis of Winnicott’s theories…

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In-depth analysis of Winnicott’s psychoanalytic theorization was conducted by Jan Abrams in her work The Language of Winnicott. You can access it directly by clicking here.

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Layton, L. (2019). Transgenerational Hauntings: Toward a Social Psychoanalysis and an Ethic of Dis-Illusionment. Psychoanal. Dial., 29(2):105-121.

(2019). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 29(2):105-121

Transgenerational Hauntings: Toward a Social Psychoanalysis and an Ethic of Dis-Illusionment

Lynne Layton, Ph.D.

I speak here to what I feel is a necessary reckoning, for myself and for our field, with U.S. history, particularly the intersecting history of White supremacy and White class dominance. I look at this history’s continuing effects on clinicians, on the people clinicians treat, and on psychoanalytic institutions. The paper draws on Avery Gordon’s concept of the ghost as a figure that pushes to make visible a psychosocial violence that has taken place—and that demands a something-to-be-done. I examine the way in which psychosocial unconscious processes simultaneously press toward truth and toward a disavowal of truth, disavowals that, in this context, serve to restore psychic equilibrium to unsettled White psyches. I turn to nonpsychoanalytic as well as psychoanalytic ancestors and contemporaries to elaborate an ethic of dis-illusionment that stands in tension with and in opposition to an ethic of adaptation. I conclude with a clinical vignette of exemplary work in a White–White dyad.

[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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