On the perversity of an imagined psychological solution to very real social problems of unemployment (work-lessness) and social exclusion (worth-lessness): A group analytic critique.

Scanlon, Christopher (2015) On the perversity of an imagined psychological solution to very real social problems of unemployment (work-lessness) and social exclusion (worth-lessness): A group analytic critique. Group Analysis, 48 (1). pp. 31-44. ISSN 0533-3164

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Abstract

This article explores some ethical and professional implications of social policies that aim to achieve social inclusion through Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) for the un(der)employed (the work-less) and the ‘socially excluded’ (the worth-less) in the UK. A major ethical concern at the heart of this critique is that such policies establish a boundary between domains of inclusion and domains of exclusion that perversely maintain the very problem they are designed to solve. The article explores how we, as a society, are invited to live in a split world and to hold contradictory conceptualizations about un(der)employment, (workless-ness) and social exclusion (worthless-ness). On the one hand we seem to know that these problems are a consequence of the vagaries and vicissitudes of national and international economic policies, yet on the other hand are invited to believe that these problems are a result of individuals’ psychological failures. In these ways dissembling conversations about an ‘imagined’ psychological depression replaces conversations about the very real socio-political and economic ‘depression’ that underlies it—and ‘psychotherapy’ is in danger of becoming the medium through which this dissembling is operationalized.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Article first published online: December 17, 2014
Uncontrolled Keywords: Perversion, Inclusion, Unemployment, Worthlessness
Subjects: Management & Economics > Social Psychology of Work
Sex Psychology > Perversions
Department/People: Department of Education and Training
URI: http://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/2422

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