This volume shows by contrast that a psychodynamic approach, not as dogma, but as a tool to think and work with, can provide radical new ways of addressing difficulties and difference. The emotional consequences of living in a conflictual and rapidly-changing society are not adequately represented through reference to psychiatric symptomatology or through statistics which count numbers of 'victims'.
The case studies in this book explore the multiple layers of trauma and conflict in communities and organisations, and the complexity of response that is required. Divides along race, class, culture, gender, language, age, disability, and political lines are extensively discussed, and the question of the power of the 'expert' social service professional is debated from a range of perspectives. The book emphasises the importance of a thorough understanding of context for community work.
A remarkable feature of the book is that, while considering one clinic's efforts to assist with positive transformation in a range of South African contexts, it at the same time reflects on the process of change within the clinic itself. It shows how change in others cannot happen without change in ourselves. The book requires engagement from the reader, and sets the reader the challenge of thinking deeply and on multiple levels about community-based practice and what it means both for communities and for those who wish to be agents of change.
Foreword by Prof. Linda Richter
About the Authors
Leslie Swartz, Kerry Gibson and Tamara Gelman
2. Healing Relationships Between Psychologists and Communities: How Can We Tell Them if They Dont Want to Hear?
3. From Idealism to Reality: Learning from Community Interventions
4. Black Students Experiences of Training at a White Institution
Rucksana Christian, Molefi Mokutu and Matshediso Rankoe
5. Providing a Containing Space for Unbearable Feelings
Rika van den Berg
6. The Consultation Relationship: Reflections on a Psychological Consultation Partnership
7. Too Close for Comfort: Emotional Ties Between Nurses and Patients
Hester van der Walt
8. Disability and Psychotherapy: an Ideologically Charged Relationship in Community Mental Health Service Provision
9. The Good Enough Community: Power and Knowledge in South African Community Psychology
Mark Tomlinson and Leslie Swartz
10. Psychoanalytic Community Psychology: Crossing Worlds or Worlds Apart?