Struggle and Therapy
A multimedia presentation and open discussion on the politics of psychotherapy:
The conventional terrain of mental health, its definitions, its goals, methods, and “cures” do not compose a neutral field of study and application. Rather they are developed within terrains of struggle, contestation, cooperation, resistance, and force. The dominating institutions, economies, and ways of living that persist at present, articulate this field or terrain. We find and construct ourselves within this contestation. The goal of Jane Adams Collective is to not leave this struggle unattended, nor to neglect what we tentatively call psychological or mental struggle.
This presentation will focus on how the tools of psychology, psychiatry and different therapies have been developed, used, adapted for various and conflicting goals; repressing populations, fostering consumerism, enforcing military statecraft and maintaining bigotry while on the other hand also being with liberatory, revolutionary ambitions. We will examine approaches from the anti-psychiatry (e.g. Myth of Mental Illness), peer led projects (e.g. Icarus) and revolutionary approaches (e.g. Socialist Patients Collective) to the dialogue of psychotherapy.
When used explicitly within a political context, Jane Addams is interested in practical ways psychotherapeutic tools can defend and enact victories in our favor, in favor what can be done.
The Jane Addams Circle
Is a small anarchist collective made up of professional social workers and psychologists who believe that to have a true and sustainable culture of resistance we must be able to maintain our mental health. We know everyone has sustained some emotional damage from this society and that we must find a variety of ways to undo this damage for us to be able to struggle effectively for our revolutionary dreams and passions with others. Struggling with emotional issues limits our ability to connect with others and to effectively enact the change we need in the world. Stigmatizing or refusing to deal with mental health issues in ourselves and in our community is weakens our struggle.