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Blackness and Whiteness in the Clinical Encounter: Listening to the Nuances of Race

Venue: Online

Blackness and Whiteness in the Clinical Encounter: Listening to the Nuances of Race

Organizer: Clea McEnery West

Speaker: Narendra Keval (Psychoanalyst)

The construct of race makes no room for nuance or shades of feeling and being, aiming as it does to straitjacket identity which is itself a complex tapestry offering a sense of integrity and continuity and yet hybrid in nature, creating disruption and multiplicity. There are many ways of being Black, White, Asian and so on, a complexity that offends the racist imagination that only strives to create myths of purity which exist in our wishful thinking for absolute certainties. This creates clinical challenges in how we think about and engage with the racialisation of differences which put patient and therapist under   pressure in ways that create unhelpful enactments, restricting the emotional freedom of both. This lecture will explore some of these themes by listening to the racial dimension in which a myriad of meanings can emerge that enable us to discern their use and misuse, from one moment to the next in the clinical situation. 


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  • Narendra Keval -

    Narendra Keval is a Psychoanalyst in full-time private practice, having previously worked as a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist and Clinical Psychologist in a range of NHS settings with patients suffering from complex personality disorders. He is a visiting lecturer at the Tavistock Clinic, London and has been teaching in the UK, South Africa, Washington and New York. He is a member of the British Psychoanalytic Society, Tavistock Society of Psychotherapists and The British Psychological Society. His book Racist States of Mind: Understanding the Perversion of Curiosity and Concern was published by Karnac Books in 2016.