Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Psychoanalyst-Political activity, Psychoanalysis and racism, Social justice, Anti-racism, Psychoanalysis, Race, Racism, Institute, Training, Privilege, Whiteness, Oppression, Relational theory, Ojbect relations, Drive theory, Self-psychology, Ego psychology, Intersubjective


This research study is an exploration of the ways in which practicing psychoanalysts work towards antiracism in clinical practice. The study is based on an independent and in-depth investigation of 9 practicing psychoanalysts who self-identify as committed to the goals of antiracism. The study examines the ways in which theoretical orientation, analytic training, and clinical practice experience impact the analysts' commitment to antiracism and their ability to feel effective in their work. The study was designed using the constructivist grounded theory method for data collection and analysis. This method takes into account the social location of the participants and the researcher, and views all research as a co-construction between these players and the surrounding environment. The major findings of this study indicate that an analysts' ability to manifest antiracism in clinical practice is greatly influenced by three factors; perceptions of analysis as a white, elitist treatment modality; the amount of training the analyst has received about issues of race and racism; and the analyst's preferred theoretical orientation. In addition, the high variation in participants' fluency with issues of race and racism and comfort level tackling these issues in therapy points to the conclusion that a self-definition of antiracism is not sufficient to sustain a transformative therapeutic practice. Recommendations are made for individual analysts interested in working towards antiracism in clinical practice, and for institutes looking to support these interests.




81 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2011. Includes bibliographical references (p. 70-73)