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Psychoanalysis On and Off the Couch

Oct 16, 2022

"Aren't these daughters of Persia retelling that myth [Shahnameh] as we speak - they put their hair down, Rudabeh put her hair down. This time maybe from this union there will now be a baby girl that will be born. This new epic female hero will transform this land. Something has happened - it’s an event, and whether we like it or not there is going to be a before and after. We observe the best of Rudabeh’s daughter in every single one of these girls. We know in psychoanalysis that these things are not something that can just happen - that the birth of the subject is a process and this birth of Rudabeh’s daughter has been long overdue. It has been a long time in the making, and I am sorry…I get very emotional, but I look forward to her becoming."  



Episode Description: We begin by acknowledging the political turmoil currently surrounding and impacting our conversation about psychoanalysis in Iran. We discuss the nature of foreignness both as a geographical entity and an intrapsychic experience. Gohar recognizes the essential subversive spirit of discovering one's authentic voice and challenges efforts to homogenize one's identity in an artificial search for sameness. Tolerating discomfort is for her a hallmark of analytic maturation. We discuss the Blues which contain sorrow and promise -"it lives on the edge of falling into melancholy." We learn that Freud was translated into Farsi as early as 1906 and that Gohar was a founder of the Freudian Group of Tehran. We close with hopes for a future inspired by the courage of the young women of today with conversations freed from concerns about safety. 


Our Guest: Gohar Homayounpour, PsyD is a psychoanalyst and author. She is a member of the International Psychoanalytic Association, the American Psychoanalytic Association, the Italian Psychoanalytical society, and the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis. She is a Training and Supervising psychoanalyst of the Freudian Group of Tehran, of which she is also the founder and past president. She is also a member of the scientific board at the Freud Museum in Vienna, and of the IPA group Geographies of Psychoanalysis. 

Her first book, Doing Psychoanalysis in Tehran (2012) won the Gradiva award and has been translated into many languages including French, German, Italian, Turkish, and Spanish. Her latest book is titled Persian Blues, Psychoanalysis and Mourning (2022). 


Recommended Readings: 


Homayounpour, Gohar.  Doing Psychoanalysis in Tehran, (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press,2012). 


Dislocated Subject, edited by Preta, Lorena (ed.), Geographies of Psychoanalysis, Mimesis International, 2018 


Geographies of Psychoanalysis (Encounters Between Cultures In Tehran), edited by Preta, Lorena (ed.), Mimesis International, 2015. 


Busch, Fred. A Fresh Look at Psychoanalytic Technique, selected papers on Psychoanalysis, Routledge, 2021. 


Bolognini, Stefano. Vital Flows between the Self and Non-Self: The Interpsychic. Routledge, 2022.