New Directions: Writing with a Psychoanalytic Edge brings together clinicians, academicians, and writers in an environment designed to foster intellectual growth and enhance participants’ ability to write about personal and professional topics.
Feeling different, marginalized, or excluded is common and painful. Confronted with the discordance between one’s sense of oneself and one’s perception of the way the world sees us — not white, not heterosexual, not young, not “normal” — we may feel doubly damaged — socially alien and alien to ourselves.
A sense of “outsiderness” can overwhelm and define our experience and become an identity. But “outsiderness” need not be a fixed or static position paralyzing the self. It can be a shifting position in which one may be an insider one moment and an outsider the next. This shifting point of view, enabling one to see the world from more than one perspective, is, of course, the stance of some of the most thoughtful individuals — artists, intellectuals, and, often, at our best, psychotherapists.
Thus, as thinking and feeling individuals, we may fiercely embrace the outsider position, taking pride in the status of “other” that allows us witness and speak of things others may not see.
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Kerry Malawista, Ph.D.