Daniel Gaztambide, PsyD joins Francesca to discuss identity, oppression, and A People’s History of Psychoanalysis: From Freud to Liberation Psychology.
Daniel Gaztambide PsyD is a clinical psychologist who helps professionals feel confident and fulfilled at work and their relationships. He teaches psychotherapy, cultural competency, and critical theory as assistant professor of clinical psychology at the New School for Social Research, where he is the director of the Culture and Mental Health Lab. He is the author of the book A People’s History of Psychoanalysis: From Freud to Liberation Psychology. Learn more about him at drgpsychotherapy.com
Daniel shares that identity has to do with a kind of wounding. We are not born having a sense of who or what we are. We discover who or what we are as it is mirrored or reflected in ‘the other.’ Sometimes this is a cracked mirror, reflecting a broken nature within ourselves. What happens when identity is a function of this kind of wounding? What happens when these wounds become weaponized against ourselves and others?
“Identity is constructed out of different ruptures that occur both interpersonally and intimately, certainly in our family of origin, but also more broadly in terms of signifiers of race, class, sexuality, and gender. The construction of these identities serves a political purpose to maintain systems of control and domination.” -Daniel Gaztambide PsyD
The Victim Becomes the Oppressor (33:34)
Within the dynamic of exploitation, an identification with the offender can take place, creating a system of cascading oppression and disparity. As we are classified into our identities, we are exploited for our differences and identifications. Much of this exploitation is overlooked; though, because each specific identity group is riding the exploitation of the one beneath, or next to them. This is the game being played by the current system.
“We get stuck within the language of oppression itself; winners and losers, oppressors and oppressed. This blinds us to seeing the bigger game being played, which winds up screwing some more than others, but ultimately and dialectically it is screwing everybody.” -Daniel Gaztambide PsyD
To examine the way that love sparks the flame of justice within us, check out Ep. 3 of the Sufi Heart Podcast
An Everybody-Loses Patriarchy (36:42)
When we think about gender, we are in an incommensurate battle between men and women. Under the patriarchy, women are paid less for work and devalued, which creates anxiety, depression and ptsd. The same patriarchy reproduces itself by turning men into something called “masculine.” The more that men force themselves to accord with these toxic views of what it means to be a man, the more likely they are to get depression, abuse substances, and commit suicide. Even though the patriarchy may seem skewed, all sides are suffering immensely.
“What we lose sight of is that both the suffering that women experience and the suffering that men experience, even with all of their privileges, are a function of the same system.” -Daniel Gaztambide PsyD
Restorative Justice & Vulnerability (44:55)
Social justice is a transformation of an internal wound, and a disidentification with the one who has hurt us, in favor of a loving affectionate tie with an ‘other.’ There is this belief that through humanizing the ‘other’ you can restore your own humanity. In discourses around oppression and liberation, we can sometimes get caught up in a more traditional model of justice, as opposed to restorative justice which restores a sense of wholeness, not just to the individual, but to the community.
“Across all of these different dimensions there is both wounding and then the privileges afforded to try to cover up that wound. So, it’s about being able to enter that place of recapturing vulnerability. In the same way that you can’t screw me without screwing yourself, your vulnerability is intimately wrapped up with mine.” -Daniel Gaztambide PsyD
For resources on vulnerability and reversing the defended heart, explore Ep. 1 of the Be Here Now Network Guest Podcast with Roshi Joan Halifax