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Section IX: Psychoanalysis for Social Responsibility

Our mission

The mission of Section IX is to bring psychoanalytic thought and methods to the world of social activism, and social activism to the world of psychoanalysis. We are a group of clinicians, scholars, activists, and students who use psychoanalytic ideas to inform the pursuit of individual and collective social responsibility. We are committed to the following:

  • Listening and witnessing. We are committed to expressing solidarity, in ways that count, with people being oppressed. Whether out in the world or within Section IX and Division 39, we want to make room for people to be speak and be heard. We are committed to listening, and to responding in solidarity in ways that are meaningful to the people and groups with whom we stand. 
  • Changing inequitable power structures. We are committed to a movement that centers the perspectives of those who are silenced and excluded, re-imagines traditional hierarchies in psychoanalysis, and works toward the equitable distribution of resources, power, and struggle.
  • Engaging tensions arising from differing perspectives. We know that this work will be emotionally and interpersonally challenging for all our members—for some because we are living with oppression every day, for others because privilege has allowed us to be fragile and to lack stamina for confrontations with oppression. We ask that all our members commit to engaging in critical conversations about our organization, our work, and our community.
  • Pursuing an anti-racism agenda. As a U.S.-based organization, we recognize that we live and work on occupied land in North America. Foundational legacies of slavery and indigenous genocide implicate and haunt us, and we aim to help heal historical wounds and take a stand for reparations and decolonization. We strive to look inward, outward, and to each other in order to become a community of conscience, capable of ongoing analysis and resistance to multiple, intersecting forms of oppression.
  • Promoting a progressive mental health agenda. We are advocates for the care of whole people and whole communities, and we recognize that the health of people and communities is adversely affected by oppression. We also recognize that clinicians have often been complicit in the oppression of people we were supposed to serve. As such, we commit ourselves to advancing mental health scholarship, policies, and practices that are socially responsible, and to actively challenging scholarship, policies, and practices that are not. 

More information

Last updated: September 2021Date created: January 2011
Membership