When is it Acting Out not to be an Activist?’
David Morgan, Institute of Psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis has profoundly helped to change the lives of many due to its powerful engagement with the individual unconscious. Although he was never directly involved in politics himself, Sigmund Freud’s contribution to political thinking cannot be overstated. He was fascinated with the way that our internal conflicts as individuals have outward consequences in the world at large – and many of his ideas laid down the basis of what has become an enormous body of thought on how society works. External worries among the people I see in my consulting room are becoming so common, so persistent, that I find myself focusing both on the problems that are specific to the individual patients, but increasingly on what is happening to the fabric of their daily lives. A question that arises is whether psychoanalysis equips us to understand the imperviousness of the haves (1%) to the rest, the have nots. Are they are just as troubled and don’t know what to do? Or is this a ‘winner takes all’ society dominated by the market place alone? What place does political activism have within psychoanalysis?
David Morgan will address these issues drawing on his experience of working with whistleblowers and other activists. He is a Consultant Psychotherapist, and Psychoanalyst with the British Psychoanalytic Society. He is also organiser of the ‘Political Mind’ Seminars at the Institute of Psychoanalysis, and of the radio broadcasts ‘Frontier Psychoanalysis’.