Manifesto Writing Workshop for Therapists

Extended individual psychotherapy is an elitist, outmoded, as well as nonproductive form of psychiatric help. It concentrates on the talents of a few. It silently colludes with the notion that people’s difficulties have their sources within them while implying that everything is well with the world. It promotes oppression by shrouding its consequences with shame and secrecy.

 

- The Radical Therapist Manifesto, 1969

 

What are manifestos? Declarations of intent, calls and commitment to action, interventions against dominant, oppressive systems. They are invitations to imagine not just alternatives but otherwise being - futurity as imminent process. Manifestos protest. They can be impolite, frothy and simmering with urgency. They may be angry, satirical, flippant or sincere. They are always political.

 

As therapists, we are encouraged to ‘integrate’, to synthesise our theories into coherent, roll-off-the-tongue therapeutic approaches. What, however, of the aspects of therapeutic practice that we find intolerable, what of the parts that resist integration and require active refusal? What is it to occupy a dissenting position within a profession whose mainstream practice continues to normalize, categorise and prescribe? Manifestos have a long history in politics and the arts, yet their role in therapeutic practice has been minimal. How might manifesto writing be utilised as a critical and resistant therapeutic intervention for our times?

 

This workshop is creative, non-prescriptive and collaborative in its embrace of ethical heterogeneity. It invites participants into a more precarious therapeutic territory, where we allow ourselves to be critical and oppositional in consideration of the therapeutic ground we each stand upon. We work together in large and small groups, whilst allowing time for self-writing. Taking examples from various manifestos as our starting point for discussion, participants will be invited to play and experiment with writing their own therapist manifestos. Should participants wish, their manifestos will become part of a digital archive – a record of radical therapeutic intention and praxis.

 

This workshop is offered both online and in person. It is planned as a three hour workshop. Numbers are limited to support discussion and participation. To express interest in the next Manifesto Writing Workshop for Therapists workshop, email me at: rebeccagreenslade@hotmail.co.uk .