Fundamentalist States of Mind: Some Psychoanalytic Thinking about Australia’s Treatment of Asylum Seekers
William Macmahon Ball Theatre (Room 107)
Old Arts, Building 149
T: 8344 5554
This talk addresses the question: “Why has a majority of Australians supported successive governments’ off-shore incarceration and persecution of asylum seekers?” The psychoanalytic understanding of unconscious anxiety, and how it’s defended against, provides a means to think about some of the issues in this question. Post 9/11, we have been precipitated into a world of terror and confusion: We no longer know who are our friends and who are our enemies. This talk suggests that strong anxiety can push us all into a fundamentalist state of mind, where certainties and simplifications are used to defend against what is complex, confusing and terrifying. Ms Janet Chauvel discusses some of the dynamics of this way of managing unconscious anxiety. How might we think about the implications of fundamentalist states of mind for what we elect our governments to do?
The discussion will be led by Emeritus Professor Judith Brett.
Ms Janet Chauvel, Melbourne Institute for Psychoanalysis
Ms Janet Chauvel
Melbourne Institute for Psychoanalysis
Janet Chauvel is a psychoanalyst in private practice and is a member of the Australian Psychoanalytical Association and the International Psychoanalytical Association. She also teaches for the Melbourne Institute for Psychoanalysis and supervises clinical work in psychotherapy by other mental health professionals. She first trained in social work, gaining child & family psychiatry experience in hospital, community and NGO settings in Sydney, London and Jakarta.