Despite a tendency to avoid the warnings, times of crisis summon clinicians to emerge from comfortable consulting rooms. Daily engaged with human suffering, they now face the inextricably bound together crises of global warming and massive social injustices. After considering historical and emotional causes of climate unconsciousness and of compulsive consumerism, this book argues that only a radical ethics of responsibility to be "my other’s keeper" will truly wake us up to climate change and bring psychoanalysts to actively take on responsibilities, such as demanding change from governments, living more simply, flying less, and caring for the earth and its inhabitants everywhere.
Linking climate justice to radical ethics by way of psychoanalysis, Donna Orange explores many relevant aspects of psychoanalytic expertise, referring to work on trauma, mourning, and the transformation of trouble into purpose. Orange makes practical suggestions for action in the psychoanalytic and psychotherapeutic communities: reducing air travel, consolidating organizations and conferences, better use of internet communication and education. This book includes both philosophical considerations of egoism (close to psychoanalytic narcissism) as problematic, together with work on shame and envy as motivating compulsive and conspicuous consumption.
The interweaving of climate emergency and massive social injustice presents psychoanalysts and organized psychoanalysis with a radical ethical demand and an extraordinary opportunity for leadership. Climate Crisis, Psychoanalysis, and Radical Ethics will provide accessible and thought-provoking reading for psychoanalysts and psychotherapists, as well as philosophers, environmental studies scholars and students studying across these fields.
Donna M. Orange, PhD, PsyD, is a psychoanalyst and philosopher living in California. She teaches at the NYU Postdoctoral Program and the Institute for the Psychoanalytic Study of Subjectivity, New York. Her books include Thinking for Clinicians (2010), The Suffering Stranger (2011) and most recently Nourishing the Inner Life of Clinicians and Humanitarians (2016).
Utilizing the hermeneutics of Hans-Georg Gadamer and the ethics of Emmanuel Lévinas, The Suffering Stranger invigorates the conversation between psychoanalysis and philosophy, demonstrating how each is informed by the other and how both are strengthened in unison. Orange turns her critical (and clinical) eye toward five major psychoanalytic thinkers – Sándor Ferenczi, Frieda Fromm-Reichmann, D. W. Winnicott, Heinz Kohut, and Bernard Brandchaft – investigating the hermeneutic approach of each and engaging these innovative thinkers precisely as interpreters, as those who have seen the face and heard the voice of the other in an ethical manner. In doing so, she provides the practicing clinician with insight into the methodology of interpretation that underpins the day-to-day activity of analysis, and broadens the scope of possibility for philosophical extensions of psychoanalytic theory.
Winner of the Clinical catergory of the American Board & Academy of Psychoanalysis Book Prize for best books published in 2016
Nourishing the Inner Life of Clinicians and Humanitarians: The Ethical Turn in Psychoanalysis, demonstrates the demanding, clinical and humanitarian work that psychotherapists often undertake with fragile and devastated people, those degraded by violence and discrimination. In spite of this, Donna M. Orange argues that there is more to human nature than a relentlessly negative view. Drawing on psychoanalytic and philosophical resources, as well as stories from history and literature, she explores ethical narratives that ground hope in human goodness and shows how these voices, personal to each analyst, can become sources of courage, warning and support, of prophetic challenge and humility which can inform and guide their work. Over the course of a lifetime, the sources change, with new ones emerging into importance, others receding into the background.
Donna Orange uses examples from ancient Rome (Marcus Aurelius), from twentieth century Europe (Primo Levi, Emmanuel Levinas, Dietrich Bonhoeffer), from South Africa (Nelson Mandela), and from nineteenth century Russia (Fyodor Dostoevsky). She shows how not only can their words and examples, like those of our personal mentors, inspire and warn us; but they also show us the daily discipline of spiritual self-care, although these examples rely heavily on the discipline of spiritual reading, other practitioners will find inspiration in music, visual arts, or elsewhere and replenish the resources regularly.
Nourishing the Inner Life of Clinicians and Humanitarianswill help psychoanalysts to develop a language with which to converse about ethics and the responsibility of the therapist/analyst. This is an exceptional contribution highly suitable for practitioners and students of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy.