Psychoanalytic clinicians have steadily expanded their focus to include diversity and inclusion as matters of priority in both the consulting room and for psychoanalytic teaching and training. This attention has spawned a broad range of relevant reflections, ranging from the role of historical racial trauma to a renewed interest in public mental health. Some institutes are experimenting with options to recognize the work that analytic clinicians do in the community and count those endeavors towards training hours. Outside of psychoanalysis, diversity and inclusion have now expanded to address the important role of “belonging.” New research outside of psychoanalysis explores the critical role of implicit bias in systemic practices that affect recruitment, hiring, and promotion. Thus, the skillset to work with diversity in the clinical consulting room includes not only our abilities to understand the intrapsychic and intersubjective milieu, but also to attend productively to organizational and large-system dynamics, especially those that shape the patient and analyst’s actions, and which may not be fully accounted for by psychoanalytic concepts of counter-transference.
Kimberlyn Leary is an associate professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and an associate professor in the department of health policy and management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where she is the "Enabling Change" program director. Leary is also the executive director of policy outreach at McLean/Harvard Medical School and a fellow at the Women and Public Policy Program at the Harvard Kennedy School and with New America’s International Security Program. Leary consults as a senior advisor to the CEO at the National Math and Science Initiative and is a Trustee of Amherst College. As a Robert Wood Johnson health policy fellow, she served as an advisor to the White House Council on Women and Girls for one year, developing the "Advancing Equity" initiative, which focused on improving life outcomes for women and girls of color, and for an additional six months, as an advisor to White House Office of Management and Budget’s Health Division.