The Politics of Clinical Psychology and/or the Clinical Psychology of politics.

Franco Di Maria, Giorgio Falgares


This paper is a synthesis of some of our recent observations on the particular way in which we are trying to reconceive and redefine some areas of Clinical Psychology. 
Firstly, we feel it necessary to briefly give the premises of the context and the epistemological and methodological frame within which we consider and structure clinical work. 
As we have already said and written elsewhere, from our point of view psychology in general and Clinical Psychology in particular should be primarily conceived as sciences of context, of intervention, of change and of living together, involved in project-building, in conceivability, in achieving transformations of the status quo, and above all should have the power to identify and analyse the obstacles involved in living together; to identify what inhibits dialogue between subjects, different subjectivities, and the experience of intersubjectivity; in short, to identify all that threatens living together (cfr. Carli, 2000). We maintain that this way of conceiving the psychologies makes them constitutionally "politically committed". 
The expression "politics" is used here to indicate the complex psycho-social-cultural dimension reflecting the specific modalities in which people in a community conceive their relationships, represent living together, the Other, the different, the community itself, and the effects that these representations have on the well-being of each person (the only real objective of clinical work). 
When we think of psychology primarily as psychology for politics, we are not referring only to the importance of the political context in people's psychological life or to the clinical-psychology read of the dynamics at work in psychopolitical groups (certainly important aspects that should be studied). We feel, however, that thinking of politics only in these terms risks becoming a "sterile practice", unless one is able to provide politics, like science or the art of governance, with the tools to interpret and intervene in the social world. In fact, politikè is also techné.

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Rivista di Psicologia Clinica. Teoria e metodi dell'intervento

Rivista Telematica a Carattere Scientifico Registrazione presso il Tribunale civile di Roma (n.149/2006 del 17/03/2006)

ISSN 1828-9363