Ian Parker – Psychoanalyst, Author, International Speaker
Regulation and Revolution: Perspectives on what ‘liberation’ is, and from what
The changing landscape is global, driven by neoliberal imperatives to replace welfare provision with corporate profit, to intensify personal choice and to control and channel resistance. Regulation in this context is a seductive invitation to reconfigure what ‘liberation’ is, an invitation posing a challenge to psychoanalytic ethics and politics. We need as a profession to attend to the specific contradictions and spaces for us now to reflect and to practice.
The landscape of psychotherapeutic engagement is changing, driven inter alia by developments in technology, government regulation and economics. Business and governments are alert to benefits in this transition – such as increased convenience for those seeking psychotherapy as well as increased profits from technological advances which reduce commercial rents and allow collection of personal data. The current trend of huge corporate investments and incursions into the field of personal psychotherapy reveal strategies to utilise and monetise mental health services.
Psychoanalysis – antithetical to this trend – becomes more important and perhaps more vulnerable to marginalisation in this shifting landscape.
“The crack in the project of digital control lies in the impossibility of taking the unconscious into account, the unconfessable, the fantasmatic, the elusive, the detournement that each one of us exercises on himself. In this sense, psychoanalysis is the green lung, the Amazon of a world crushed by marketing, stalked by populist enticements made to catch hold of electoral preferences. Psychoanalysis is today the ecology of thought and social relations.” Mario Focchi. The Social Bond in the Hyper-Connected World (Micol Martinez, Trans.). Lacanian Review Online, Feb. 29, 2020. LRO 213.
How do psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy respond to this changing landscape? How does psychoanalysis align itself with these new transitions and trends? Does psychoanalysis risk irrelevance because it has been slow to put forward evidence-based research?
This Congress seeks to open a conversation on this changing landscape:
- technology and its impact on psychoanalysis
- changes in the psychoanalytic clinic
- legislation and regulation
- psychoanalysis in corporations / organisational psychotherapy
- consumerism and its effects
- psychoanalysis and climate change
- psychoanalysis and evidence-based research