FINDING A PLACE TO STAND:
DEVELOPING SELF REFLECTIVE INSTITUTIONS, LEADERS AND CITIZENS
Presenter: Edward R. Shapiro, M.D.
This presentation, derived from my recently published book, traces a psychological pathway from family membership to joining society as a citizen. I have unusual opportunities, undergirded by my AKRI experiences, to learn that our institutions, our access to society, have untapped capacities to help us develop our citizen voices. Using my experience in a range of roles and settings from psychoanalysis to family treatment, from group relations to studying voters, from institutional membership to the leadership of a unique psychodynamic hospital, I will attempt to demonstrate how focused attention on our experiences in roles, an understanding of systems psychodynamics, and a reorientation of our institutional leaders can help bring us out into the world with clearer perspectives as citizens.Facing the swirl of global, technological, and political transformation and the correspondingly weakened citizen voice, I have been struck by the difficulty of finding a place to stand and speak with the possibility of joining with others about things that actually matter. Society is too vast for any of us as individuals to see much more than our projections into it. Can we perceive more if we find a way to look at society collaboratively? Is there any way to clarify the psychological steps toward becoming a citizen? And if so, what is the appropriate context?