PSYCHES AND CITIES OF HOSPITALITY IN AN ERA OF FORCED MIGRATION:

THE SHADOWS OF SLAVERY AND CONQUEST ON THE “IMMIGRATION” DEBATE

MARY WATKINS

The borders and barriers, which enclose us within the safety of familiar territory, can also become prisons, and are often defended beyond reason or necessity. — Edward Said [1]

THE BORDER WORK OF DEPTH AND LIBERATION

PSYCHOLOGIES

As students of depth psychologies, we learn to question what is on the other side of walls, knowing that we are apt to surround ourselves with what is comfortable and familiar. We are tutored to see through our certainties and accustomed metaphors to the ideas and commitments that forge them.[2] Depth psychologies ask us to forsake inhabiting a frozen center, cut off from relations to what and who is different from us. They teach us to move to the edges where we can greet what has been repressed and marginalized by a too-narrow ego-consciousness. Attention to unbidden thoughts, images, dreams, emotions, and bodily feelings is at the core of depth psychological methods, which all seek to establish dialogue with what is customarily extruded or passively ignored.[3] This border work has been largely imagined as intrapsychic and interpersonal processes that are facilitated by the atmosphere of trust within psychotherapeutic practices and their multiple methods of welcoming psyche through free association, movement, bodywork, dreams, active imagination, and conversation that is released from the bounds of conventional discourse. The ghosts of psychic life have most often been seen as resulting from familial difficulties, traumatic and otherwise, as well as issuing from struggles with the archetypal dominants of human existence.

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