Jan 24, 2022
In this episode we talk to Lara and Stephen Sheehi about their recently published book Psychoanalysis Under Occupation: Practicing Resistance in Palestine.
Lara Sheehi is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology at the George Washington University Professional Psychology Program.
Stephen Sheehi is a Professor of Middle East Studies and Director of the Decolonizing Humanities Project at William & Mary.
Their work in this text is heavily influenced by Frantz Fanon and critically engages theories of decoloniality and Liberatory psychoanalysis. It centers the stories and struggles of clinicians and their clients in Palestine.
In this conversation Lara & Stephen talk about the historical relationship between psychoanalysis and colonialism, and how power relations and epistemology structure those relations.
Upending those relations of course are anti-colonial or decolonial theories of psychoanalysis and in this context relationships forged between Palestinian clinicians and their Palestinian clients. Both are subjected to the same settler colonial apartheid regime that necessitates a national liberation struggle.
Along the way they talk about the different forms of every day and extreme oppression faced by Palestinian people, we talk about the work of Palestinian clinicians to confront that harm, and how confronting that requires transgressive acts, organization and ultimately resistance.
We take up problems like ideological misattunement between Israeli clinicians and Palestinian clients, talk about concepts like disalienation, and conscientisation and other key concepts in Fanonian and decolonial psychoanalytic theory. Providing key insights for resisting individuation, alienation and colonial oppression.
Lara Sheehi also mentions that she and others have some networks of anti-colonial and anti-capitalist therapists and BIPOC anti-imperialist therapists for folks who are looking for that you can connect with Dr. Sheehi to find out more information.
Also just a note, we realize that this book is priced too high for most people to purchase it for themselves. You can ask your public or school library to purchase a copy - as this was really the publishing model that the publisher chose for this text. The authors are committed however to making sure that anybody who wants to read it can find a way to get access to the text. So if you aren’t able to get your hands on it, please reach out to Lara.
If you like what we do please support our work on patreon.
Links & Resources:
@psychoanalystactivist, @decolonizingphotography, and bipocanalysis