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series: connections and conversation

Connections and Conversation is a free monthly Zoom meeting, cultivating creativity and freedom of thought and feeling. We invite you to engage with our presenters and community as they share their interests and passions in conversation on current topics in psychoanalysis.

This free event alternates between Thursdays at 7pm, Saturdays at 9am, and Sundays at 2pm Pacific Time. The meeting begins with a 45 minute presentation followed by 45 minutes of conversation.

This series is open to all.

Towards a Socio-centric Psychoanalysis Contributing to Deliberative Democracy: Social Dreaming, Community Psychoanalysis, & Reflective Citizenship – George Bermudez, Ph.D., Psy.D.

Saturday , January 6th, 2024 from 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM PST.

This conversation will focus on the potential psychoanalysis presents for addressing the challenges of our affectively polarized society.

My core thesis, threading through several publications is that if contemporary psychoanalysis aspires to contribute to addressing our socio-political and ecological challenges, we must develop an enlarged repertoire of theory and practice. The distinguished Harvard Law School Professor, Lawrence Lessig has eloquently argued that repairing our dysfunctional democratic project is the “first problem” that must be fixed if there is to be any hope in effectively addressing all the other problems. I’ve developed the conviction that unless we co-create inclusive democratic processes and structures that authentically facilitate a citizenship which is engaged, informed, imaginatively deliberating together about the existential challenges we face, and having a meaningful impact on political decision-making—we will remain stuck in systemic dysfunction. However, I do believe (aligned with Kohut’s call for psychoanalysts to reflect on their group dynamics) that psychoanalysis has in fact, over the course of its long history and multiple streams, generated both theory and practice which has great promise for a socio-political contribution. In our conversation, I will outline some of the pieces of an emergent socio-centric psychoanalysis and suggest an emergent path forward: Community Psychoanalysis; the Psycho-social Unconscious Citizenship Dream Group process; Social Dreaming integrated with Deliberative Democracy.

The “Community Psychoanalysis” paradigm proposes an integrative path forward with which psychoanalysis can contribute robustly to multidisciplinary strategies to addressing the multivalent “wicked problems”, which are challenging our institute, regional, national, and global communities.

“Wicked problems” have no definitive formulation: these are problems which in a seemingly infinite regress are symptoms of other problems; problems which involve multiple stakeholders who like the proverbial blind men and the elephant have divergent and often incommensurable perceptions of the problem and its causes; problems which generate attempted solutions which in turn generate unintended consequences and new problems; problems with no objective right or wrong, requiring reliance on human judgment, subjectivity, and collective wisdom.

Headshot of George Bermudez for Connections and Conversations Event.

George Bermudez, Ph.D.

Dr. George Bermudez, Psychologist-Psychoanalyst, Training & Supervising Psychoanalyst at The Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis Los Angeles, and 2020-21 Visiting Scholar at the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California (PINC) has developed pioneering scholarship and practice –an expansion toward a social psychoanalysis–exploring the “social unconscious” through “social dreaming”. The author of “The Social Dreaming Matrix as a Container for the Processing of Implicit Racial Bias and Collective Racial Trauma” (International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 2018) and “Community Psychoanalysis: A Contribution to an Emerging Paradigm” (Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 2019), he has focused on numerous contemporary socio-political concerns: American Xenophobia; Whiteness and Psychoanalysis; Black Reparations; The LGBTQ Unconscious in the Trumpian Era; and The Global Unconscious in the Time of Pandemic. Dr. Bermudez’ most recent work focuses on the applications of social dreaming to the discovery of potential solutions to our climate crisis and the development of “deliberative democracy”.

If you enjoy this program please consider supporting our institute and donating.

CE Credit

Connections and Conversation is not eligible for any CE Credits
No one in the planning or presentation of this activity has any relevant financial relationships with a commercial interest to disclose.

Special Accommodations

Please submit any requests for Special Accommodations to the ICP Office prior to registering or at your earliest convenience to ensure that we are able to assist.