March 2019 Transgender Mental Health Symposium NY, presenting “Psychoanalytic Dreams of Polymorphous Sleep: Lacan’s Perversion and Clinical Transphobia”

pcgs.pngIn March of 2019, I will be returning to New York for an event organized by the Psychotherapy Center for Gender and Sexuality, a division of the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy. This bi-annual symposium explores the psychodynamics of psychotherapeutic theory and practice in the context of transgender identities.

“Our 6th biannual conference, March 29th and 30th of 2019, will focus on the interplay of clinical practice and theories of development. Presenters will explore issues such as; how are clinicians approaching psychotherapy and psychoanalysis while engaging with traditional and emerging developmental theories? Although this is a clinical conference, we encourage clinicians and academics across disciplines to broaden the dialogue on these topics, both as presenters and as attendees.”

I will be presenting a paper which takes up some of the central questions in my dissertation, namely, Lacan’s perverse structure in relation to clinical transphobia.

Psychoanalytic Dreams of Polymorphous Sleep: Lacan’s Perversion and Clinical Transphobia

This workshop draws upon Lacan’s idiosyncratic thinking on “perversion” – that is, as a structural response to encountering lack in the other – as a way to conceptualize clinical anxiety surrounding transgender subjects. Lacan’s thinking uniquely puts perversion into conversation with castration, and further, presents an arguably queered, non-linear development of the subject.

Beginning with an close investigation of Lacan’s threefold model of diagnosis, we will explore the meanings he assigns to neurotic, perverse, and psychotic structures. This primer in Lacanian theories of subjectivity will provide a robust framework for understanding why all those with a neurotic structure (the most common psychical structure) unconsciously fantasize about being a pervert. This fundamental fantasy can further illuminate one of the factors contributing to clinical transphobia – a projection of the analyst’s desire for unlimited access to a lost jouissance.

To elucidate, this talk will make creative use of the popular science fiction novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” by Phillip K Dick to consider how fantasies about androids mirror fantasies surrounding transgender patients. In both cases, the neurotic subject dreams that “there is no there there” (Stein 1937) (no castration), a wish that can be managed when applied to something outside the self. Thus in considering the analyst’s dream of non-human perversion, we will gain an understanding into the lingering resonances of this instantiating loss, as it appears in the clinic between analysts and their transgender patients.

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Upcoming presentation: “Healing Psychoanalysis: A Perspective on Intergenerational Trans Mental Health” at the University of Victoria

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I’m excited to announce that I will be presenting at the Moving Trans History Forward Conference, at the University of Vitoria, BC. which takes place from March 22nd – 25th 2018.

The theme they have selected for this year is “From Generation to Generation,” and I will be presenting along with Isaiah Bartlett, LCSW on

Healing Psychoanalysis: A Perspective on Intergenerational Trans Mental Health

Panel: Saturday March 24, 2018 at 10:45 am
Session 19, “Upper Lounge” in the Student Union Building

Presentation abstract:

Psychoanalysis has a long and notorious history of pathologizing gender variance. Many contemporary practitioners still write of transgender people’s inherent psychosis or delusion, and queer people have been prohibited from undergoing analytic training.  As a result, clinical psychoanalysis has become an increasingly rare and unpopular form of therapy for many queer and trans-identified clients.

This presentation emerges from Wiggins’ and Bartlett’s unique shared experience of undergoing a psychoanalytic psychotherapy as trans-identified clients, with trans and queer identified analysts. We explore notions of the political unconscious, how psychoanalysis can provide a unique type of psychological healing for gender variant clients, and how our past experience of “laying on the couch” informs our community-based mental health work, today. We further question what forms of healing can be passed, both consciously and not, between generations of queer and trans identified mental health providers.

FTM & AFAB Surgical Groups host “Physiotherapy for FTM and AFAB people” with Michelle Fraser on February 28th, 6:00 – 9:00 pm

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Please share widely! This public workshop is open to all those who identify as FTM, transmasculine, or AFAB (assigned female at birth) trans people.
For more information, please contact Tobias at the Sherbourne Health Center

 

Physiotherapy for FTM and AFAB people
with Michelle Fraser 
February 28th, 6:00 – 9:00 pm
at the Sherbourne Health Center, room 4066
 

Workshop Summary 

Have you ever wondered how physiotherapy might support your overall health, or aspects of your gender transition, but were unsure of where to start?  In this dynamic workshop, we will build the foundation for knowledge surrounding mobility, function, and quality of life for FTM and AFAB trans people. Topics will include effects of hormones on the body, binding and the body, anatomy and function of your pelvic floor, the connection between emotions and your pelvic floor, what you can do to promote health both before and after potential surgery/surgeries, and how to recognize post-surgical complications. Familiarize yourself with different aspects of bodily health with Fraser through lecture, discussion, and embodied movement.

Important content information: This workshop will have content that could be triggering to some. Please read over this list closely, to make sure you would feel comfortable attending. This workshop will contain:

– anatomical drawings of genitals (to illustrate the location of the pelvic floor muscles, for example)
– gendered anatomical language (when possible Fraser will use gender-neutral language to refer to genitals, however, she might occasionally, if necessary, use some anatomical language)

– physical breathing and muscular activities (which you can elect not to participate in!)
– discussion of internal aspects of genitals (as the pelvic floor muscles are located internally)

Accessibility information:
– The Sherbourne is physically accessible with elevators and accessible washrooms
– If you need ASL or childcare please contact Tobias shc.transsurgerygroups@gmail.com
– More access information, including accessibility policy http://sherbourne.on.ca/clients-visitors/accessibility/

 
About Fraser
 

Fraser is a physiotherapist, pelvic health and queer advocate and educator who works with persons of all gender identities experiencing pelvic floor dysfunction or interested in understanding the complexities of pelvic health.  She is on a mission to empower people in Canada and internationally to take charge of their pelvic health, which can often be a life changing experience for anyone who has suffered pelvic health dysfunction. She is also a certified yoga instructor, has earned her Masters of Education at OISE specializing in global health education, and has been involved with teaching physiotherapists pelvic health and advanced orthopedic skills both in Canada and in Nicaragua. She is an associate instructor with Pelvic Health Solutions, where she helps physiotherapists understand how to evolve towards LGBTQ-informed practice.

New Publication: Encountering Inheritance in Vivek Shraya’s I want to kill myself

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Very excited to share my 2017 article “Encountering Inheritance in
Vivek Shraya’s I want to kill myself” special issue of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly “Transpsychoanalytics,” edited by Sheila Cavanagh. A big thank you to Vivek Shraya for her support on this piece and to the Arts and Culture section editor Eliza Steinbock for soliciting my work.

You can access the article here:
https://www.academia.edu/35479116/Encountering_Inheritance_in_Vivek_Shrayas_I_want_to_kill_myself

The full TSQ issue here: https://read.dukeupress.edu/tsq/issue/4/3-4