The politics of reflexivity: Subjectivities, activism, environmental conflict and Gestalt Therapy in southern Chiapas

Marien González-Hidalgo

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    © 2017 Elsevier Ltd Through the analysis of Gestalt Therapy workshops organised by a local NGO in southern Chiapas, Mexico, I explore the ways in which psychotherapeutic practice sheds light on indigenous and peasant subjectivation processes. Based on the analysis of testimonies from 23 workshop participants and personal observation, I discuss the role of psychotherapeutic practice in facilitating individual and collective reflexivity, and in fostering political fellowship and participation in community matters. Empirical evidence points to how healing interventions like the one here analysed – especially when implemented in contexts of conflict, material and symbolic dispossession – need to explicitly include work on structural issues of power in order to move beyond decontextualised, and thus depoliticised, reflexivity. This case study aids political ecologists interested in the subjective, emotional and embodied aspects of grassroots activism to comprehend how psychotherapy contributes to the construction of a private-public continuum of emotional expression, and its implication for understanding relationships between subjectivities, emotions and generative political processes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)54-62
    JournalEmotion, Space and Society
    Volume25
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017

    Keywords

    • Chiapas
    • Conflicts
    • Political ecology
    • Psychotherapy
    • Subjectivity

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