Psychoanalytic Theory and Social Change
Giovanni Minonne, Ph.D. and Michael Shulman, Ph.D.
Faculty, Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute
Five Tuesdays / September 26; October 3, 10, 17, 24, 2017 7:00-8:30 P.M.
7.5 CME and CE Credit Hours
Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute
400 Maynard Street, Suite 1005
Practice Gap/Need and Course Description:
Although psychoanalysis is generally thought of only as a therapy, psychoanalytic theory, beginning in Freud and extended by others, is in its roots a commentary on the relationship of the individual to his or her society. Political metaphors run throughout Freud’s work, while his theories of how groups and societies work included a complex understanding of authority and of the relationship of leaders to followers.
In this introduction to the social thought of Freud and other analytic authors including Melanie Klein, we will consider the contributions of psychoanalytic theory to the understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of areas within society in need of change. In the conclusion of this mini-course, we will consider the enrichment of psychoanalytic social thought developed in the work of Theodor Adorno as a means of engaging the present issue of the renewed appeal of authoritarianism, and the roots of this appeal in the formation of the psyche.
By the end of the course participants will be able to:
1. Describe Freud’s contributions to social theories elaborating how individuals’ unconscious functioning plays a critical role in the functioning of large groups and the social whole, generating a psychology of followers and a leader.
2. Discuss how psychoanalytic theorists after Freud expanded and enriched Freud’s work on social theory.
3. Demonstrate how a psychology of authoritarianism was generated as an outgrowth of psychoanalytic theory in Adorno’s conception of the “authoritarian personality.”
About the Presenters:
Giovanni Minonne is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Raised in Italy, he studied philosophy at the University of Florence, psychology at the University “La Sapienza” in Rome, and phenomenological humanistic psychotherapy at the ASPIC program in Rome. After he moved to the United States, he obtained a Ph.D. in psychology at the University of Michigan and completed his training in adult psychoanalysis at the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute. He has published four books on issues related to the interpretation of meaning in psychotherapy, evidence-based psychotherapy, and comparative approaches to psychotherapy. He is currently a faculty at the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute, and the director of the Seminar Series Program. His areas of interests are mourning and mortality, and socio-cultural issues in psychoanalysis.
Michael Shulman is a psychologist and psychoanalyst in private practice in Ann Arbor. He earned his B.A. at Wesleyan in Letters before completing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Michigan and psychoanalytic training at the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute. He currently serves on the Institute’s faculty, and has held teaching positions at UM, the University of Detroit-Mercy, Madonna University, and the University of Toledo. Dr. Shulman has worked in public-sector mental health organizations in the past as well as serving as a Consultant to the Practice Directorate of the American Psychological Association. He has published on narcissism and the financial crisis, as well as on psychoanalytic technique, psychoanalytic metatheory and the psychoanalyst's experience.