Fordham Prizewinner for 2019 - Ruth Calland


Ruth Calland

We are delighted to announce that the Michael Fordham Prize for the best paper in 2019 has been awarded to Ruth Calland for her paper, ‘Race, power and intimacy in the intersubjective field: the intersection of racialised cultural complexes and personal complexes’. 

Ruth’s paper is a fascinating, personal, and detailed account of an analysis with a person of colour, which lets us into the consulting room to see how the personal and cultural complexes of both patient and analyst interweave and unfold. Both patient and analyst are to be thanked for their generosity and openness in sharing their process with us. The paper demonstrates the importance of cultural complexes, which are increasingly being recognised in the field, as well as they way they interact with personal complexes and can be worked through in the analytic relationship.

Ruth has also made a brief video by way of introduction, which can be seen by clicking here. 

The paper will be free to download until February 2021; to access the paper click here.



Abstract of the paper: This paper presents work with a biracial young woman, in the context of a predominantly white Jungian training organisation. The patient's relational difficulties and her struggle to integrate different aspects of her personality are understood in terms of the overlapping influences of developmental trauma, transgenerational trauma relating to the legacy of slavery in the Caribbean, conflictual racial identities, internalised racism, and the British black/white racial cultural complex. The author presents her understanding of an unfolding dynamic in the analytic relationship in which the black slave/white master schema was apparently reversed between them, with the white analyst becoming subservient to the black patient. The paper tracks the process through which trust was built alongside the development of this joint defence against intimacy ‐ which eventually had to be relinquished by both partners in the dyad. A white on black ‘rescue fantasy’, identified by the patient as a self‐serving part of her father's personality, is explored in relation to the analytic relationship and the training context.