Education & Events

“Why Didn’t She Walk Away?”: Toward a Psychoanalytic Understanding of Why Patriarchy Persists with Naomi Snider, LL.M

“Why Didn’t She Walk Away?”: Toward a Psychoanalytic Understanding of Why Patriarchy Persists with Naomi Snider, LL.M Date: 2022-06-04 09:00 to 16:00
6 days remaining

“Why Didn’t She Walk Away?”: Toward a Psychoanalytic Understanding of Why Patriarchy Persists with Naomi Snider, LL.M

Saturday, June 4, 2022 9:00am to 4:00pm
via Zoom
This event will not be recorded.
Sponsored by: 

This program, when participated in its entirety, is available for 6 continuing education credits.  Division 39 is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists.  Division 39 maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This presentation also meets the requirements of WAC 246-809-620 (definition of recognized categories of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists and social workers).

With the election of Donald Trump in 2016, the word “Patriarchy” burst into the public arena with greater currency than ever before.  We were confronted with calls to “Smash the Patriarchy” and invited to follow “The Week in Patriarchy” under the banner of The Guardian.  Despite moves toward greater gender equality, patriarchy persists as a social hierarchy and a set of gender-based norms which is psychologically harmful to both men and women.  Why does it have such a grip on the social unconscious?  Taking as her starting point the relational turn in psychoanalysis, Naomi Snider challenges Freud’s account of patriarchal authority as a necessary evil designed to quell our antisocial drives.  By nature, we are relational beings, driven toward mutual understanding and connection rather than power and domination.  Patriarchy’s persistence rests, then, not on the containment of our destructive impulses, but on the stunting of our relational capacities.  Bringing research on development into conversation with psychoanalytic literature, the presenter will show how our initiation into patriarchy involves an encounter with irreparable loss.  Patriarchy, by rupturing connection and shaming the capacity to repair, sets in motion a defensive psychology of disavowal and dissociation that in turn upholds and reinforces the patriarchal order.

Such a formulation leads us to ask: in what ways does this psychosocial understanding of patriarchy demand a reckoning with our understanding of psychoanalysis—as both a theory of the mind and a clinical praxis?  The idea that patriarchal norms are both psychologically defensive and constricting, as well as socially harmful, places psychoanalysis at the apex of the struggle for both psychological freedom and social justice.  How can we as psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic psychotherapists help our patients gain a greater awareness of, and to challenge and resist, these culturally scripted and psychologically defensive ways of thinking and behaving?  As we help our patients grapple with encounters with loss and injustice—both suffered and inflicted—can we offer a way forward that takes us beyond the cycle of splitting and “doer-done to?”  What, too, can we add to the larger political conversation?  In short, in what ways can psychoanalysis help repair the ruptures that patriarchy (and all forms of social hierarchy and division) inflict?

Presenter: Naomi Snider, LL.M is a graduate of the William Alanson White Institute and a practicing psychoanalyst in New York City.  She lectures and publishes on the intersections of social injustice and psychological struggle with a particular focus on the tensions between patriarchy and self-actualization at both the personal and political levels.  She is the co-author, with Carol Gilligan, PhD, of Why Does Patriarchy Persist? (Polity Press, 2018).  Prior to becoming a psychoanalyst, Ms. Snider worked as a lawyer in the human rights field.  She is a graduate of the London School of Economics, New York University School of Law, the University of Toronto, and the William Alanson White Institute’s Certificate Program in Psychoanalysis.  Ms. Snider is the co-founder of NYU’s Radical Listening Project.

Learning Objectives:

Participants will be able to: 

  • Describe two ways in which the patriarchy stunts our relational capacities.

  • Describe how dissociation upholds and reinforces the patriarchal order.

  • Describe how a psychosocial understanding of patriarchy impacts our understanding of psychoanalysis.

  • Cite two ways in which we might help our patients gain greater awareness of the harmful effects of patriarchy.

Recent Publications:

Snider, N. (2021). Feeling gender: A generational and psychosocial approach.  Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society, 26(1), 148-152.

Snider, N.  (2020).  Anti-racism in our institutes: Opportunities and challenges.  Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 56(2-3), 418-437.

Gilligan, C., & Snider, N.  (2018). Why does patriarchy persist? Medford, MA: Polity Press.

Snider, N.  (2018).  “Why didn’t she walk away?”: Silence, complicity, and the subtle force of toxic feminity.  Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 54(4), 763-777.

Gilligan, C., & Snider, N.  (2017).  The loss of pleasure, or why we are still talking about Oedipus.  Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 53(2), 173-195.


Carol Gilligan and Naomi Snider: Strand Bookstore

New Books in Psychoanalysis: Why Does Patriarch Persist? (Polity Press, 2018):

The Madness Continues, with Brendan Lemon:

Manhattan Neighborhood Network, Jim Vrettos interview: The Radical Imagination: Imagining Why Patriarchy Persists:

Participants: This event is designed for graduate level students in mental health and all mental health professionals from introductory to advanced levels.  The presentation is geared for clinicians who wish to advance their knowledge and expand their skill base in psychodynamic clinical work.

Refund Policy: Refunds less a $35 handling fee will be given up until one week before the presentation. 

This program, when participated in its entirety, is available for 6 continuing education credits.  Division 39 is committed to accessibility and non-discrimination in its continuing education activities.  Division 39 is also committed to conducting all activities in conformity with the American Psychological Association's Ethical Principles for Psychologists.  Participants are asked to be aware of the need for privacy and confidentiality throughout the program.  If program content becomes stressful, participants are encouraged to process these feelings during discussion periods. If participants have special needs, we will attempt to accommodate them. Please address questions, concerns and any complaints to John Allemand at 253-509-8302.  There is no commercial support for this program nor are there any relationships between the CE Sponsor, presenting organization, presenter, program content, research, grants or other funding that could reasonably be construed as conflicts of interest.  Participants will be informed of the utility/validity of the content/approach discussed (including the basis for the statements about validity/utility), as well as the limitations of the approach and most common (and severe) risks, if any, associated with the program's content.

Contact Person: 
John Allemand
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