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Toward a Social Psychoanalysis: Culture, Character, and Normative Unconscious Processes is a Course

Toward a Social Psychoanalysis: Culture, Character, and Normative Unconscious Processes

Starts Feb 19, 2021

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$100 Enroll

Full course description

Friday, February 19th from 2-5 pm (EST)-- Fully Online Workshop

CEs for LMHC, APA, and LI/LCSW will be submitted for review to respective credentialing bodies.


This workshop will introduce participants to ways of conceptualizing a social psychoanalysis that is mindful of how gender, race, class, and sexuality are lived intersectionally in particular social and historical contexts and within particular power dynamics. We will focus on the concept of normative unconscious processes and how these processes issue in clinical enactments involving both patient and therapist--particularly as they unconsciously reproduce racism, classism, and heterosexism. We will also look more deeply into our particular historical moment, focusing on some psychic effects of neoliberalism and on institutional level normative unconscious enactments. We will work toward elaborating a psychoanalytic ethic that is both alert to and counter to one that fosters adaptation to the unjust world that has made people ill in the first place.

Learning Objectives: 

At the conclusion of this presentation the participant will be able to:

  1. Describe the kinds of questions that a social psychoanalysis asks and the problems in mainstream psychoanalysis/psychology to which it responds.
  2. Define and give examples of clinical, institutional, and cultural enactments of normative unconscious processes.
  3. Compare and contrasts neoliberalism, its psychic effects, and some ways that therapists unconsciously reproduce or can resist reproducing neoliberal subjects.

Timeline and Requirements:

The course will take place on February 19, 2021.  This workshop is instructor-led and is a fully online experience. This will be conducted synchronously online via (Zoom) from 2:00 pm-5:00 pm (EST). 

CE Sponsorship: 

Application for CEs is being submitted for LMHC, APA, and LI/LCSW. We will update this section as soon as we hear back from the credentialing bodies.

Participants must attend the workshop in full and complete the post event survey to be eligible to receive CEs.

This workshop does not offer CEs for other clinicians not listed above. 

Fees & Policies: 

Payment is due by credit card at registration. Registration closes February 15th at 5pm. Refunds will be granted only up to the time of the workshop. 


Lynne Layton
 is a psychoanalyst, part-time faculty at Harvard Medical School, and a supervisor at the Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis. She teaches Social Psychoanalysis in the Community, Liberation, Indigenous, and Eco-Psychologies program at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Her new book, Toward a Social Psychoanalysis: Character, Culture, and Normative Unconscious Processes, was published in 2020 (with Marianna Leavy-Sperounis).