Podcast: Words and Signifiers Still Matter: The Relevance of Lacanian Therapy Today with Yael Baldwin

Talk by Dr. Yael Baldwin

Every day more modalities emerge on the mental health scene, all competing to help people suffer less and thrive more.

These include talk therapies, somatic approaches, medications and other biological treatments from harm reduction programs to transcranial magnetic stimulation, life coaching, popular and accessible self-help groups, online programmes, men’s groups, women’s groups, podcasts and mental health apps (including ones like Woebot, in which app users can have a “conversation” with an artificial-intelligence therapist). Add these choices to insurance companies’ demands for time and cost efficiency, and providers of open ended talk therapies, such as psychoanalysis, need to explicitly articulate what they uniquely have to offer.

Within the context of this climate and broader conversation, Dr. Yael Baldwin addresses the unique place and role of Lacanian psychoanalysis, with its emphasis on the importance of human speech and the effects of the signifier (a linguistic term for the sounds we produce, hear, or write during speech) as it relates to the formations and workings of the unconscious, the constitution of the ego, the profound role of lack, loss, and desire in our lives, and ultimately the Lacanian ethics of subjective responsibility as these relate to treatment.

Dr. Yael Baldwin is a clinical psychologist, Professor of Psychology and Chair of Social Sciences at Mars Hill University, and the author of many articles, anthology chapters, and books on Lacan, including: Let’s Keep Talking: Lacanian Tales of Love, Sex, and Other Catastrophes.  Most recently, she has a chapter entitled “On an ex post facto Syllabary” in Reading Lacan’s Ecrits: From ‘Signification of the phallus’ to ‘Metaphor of the subject.” 

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