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11:00 - 12:30


Standard ticket £ 15.00


Online (via Zoom)
United Kingdom

Wessex Event: Exploring the Use and Misuse of Race in the Clinical Situation

Saturday 24th April, 2021 // 11:00 - 12:30

Speaker: Narendra Keval

Chair: Richard Tan

Our preoccupations about difference in the form of ethnicity and race, including racism are always present in subtle ways in the privacy of our daily thoughts, feelings, imagination and dreams. This is sometimes overlooked by an assumption that such matters are to do with being a person of colour when the reality is that we are all ethnically located and speak from that cultural positioning regardless of our skin colour or backgrounds. However, engaging with the significance of these deep structures of thought and feeling in the consulting room often evokes excessive anxiety that can obstruct thoughtful and sensitive scrutiny about the nuances of these preoccupations in the unconscious, what is being grappled with and communicated by the patient.

In this paper, Narendra Keval explores how race emerges in the patient’s mind and the psychic functions of these preoccupations that differ from one moment to the next. These movements can flow from a sense of curiosity that signals a wish to explore and deepen the relationship to the self and others, through the creative use of the analytic setting to a misuse which involves a retreat into a racist state of mind where destructive impulses aim to thwart and damage the self and others. This means discerning what state of mind is at play is a fluid matter that becomes particularly challenging as it will depend on the content and emotional atmosphere of the clinical situation, what feelings are provoked and evoked at any given moment. He will suggest that these states of mind can co-exist to varying degrees in individuals, groups and organisational/societal life, creating particular kinds of predicaments and challenges in how we engage with them.

about the speaker:

Narendra Keval is a Psychoanalyst, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist and a Consultant Clinical Psychologist. He specialised in clinical work with patients suffering from complex personality disorders in a range of settings in the NHS and currently works in full time private practice. He is a visiting lecturer at the Tavistock Clinic, London and has been a visiting speaker at Psychoanalytic training institutes in the UK, Cape town, South Africa, Washington and New York. He is a member of the British Psychoanalytic Society, Tavistock Society of Psychotherapists, British Psychoanalytic Council and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. His book Racist States of Mind: Understanding the Perversion of Curiosity and Concern was published by Karnac Books in 2016.


Please note: This event counts as 1.5 hours of CPD

Standard ticket £ 15.00