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Racial Socialization and Thwarted Mentalization: Reflections of a psychoanalyst from the lived experience of James Baldwin’s America–Beverly Stoute, MD

November 3, 2018 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Paper Awarded the 2018 Reiger Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Award: A Distinguished Member Award from The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Presenter: Beverly Stoute, MD


A contemporary psychoanalytic perspective recognizes that the discussion of race will occur at the intersection of the intrapsychic and the social.   Ta-Nehisi Coates’ (2015) recent publication of the acclaimed Between the World and Me, a letter to his son in homage to James Baldwin reminds us of the dialogue whose necessity has been made stark by the shooting of Trayvon Martin (2012) and numerous other unarmed Black men (including a mental health worker) by police (Grimm 2016) leading to an ongoing public outcry.  These deaths haunt us as a society and return us to the conversation on race and racial socialization spearheaded by James Baldwin early in his career.

Framing the discussion with clinical examples, Dr. Stoute traces, and explores the developmental evolution of race awareness from childhood and adolescence into adulthood.  Dr. Stoute reviews and reformulates the research on race awareness with developmental and psychoanalytic integrations, including an analytic reinterpretation of James Baldwin’s letter to his nephew, published in 1962 in his acclaimed work The Fire Next Time.  Dr. Stoute’s paper is enriched with analytic data on mentalization and transgenerational trauma.  Applying a psychoanalytic framework enables understanding of the impact of media reports of racial violence and the derivatives that emerge in clinical situations, specifically on our mentalization of Black boys. Dr. Stoute discusses clinical material that highlights how racialized attitudes manifest in our work.

The presentation integrates the theoretical, the clinical, the literary and the developmental perspectives in a rare psychoanalytic reinterpretation of Baldwin’s work, and demonstrates the invaluable importance of psychodynamic understanding in deconstructing how we process racial difference in treatment situations.

CE Objectives

  1. Participants will be able to identify the developmental nodal points in the process of race awareness in childhood, and the factors that affect how attitudes around race are shaped into adulthood.
  2. Participants will be able to identity the technical challenges of how issues around race arise in clinical situations.
  3. Participants will be able to identify the utility of using psychoanalyticprinciples to understand how to understand and work with race in the consultation room.
  4. Participants will be able to identify how their own attitudes around race and countertransference are factors in the process of mentalization.

Beverly Stoute, MD has a full-time private practice in Atlanta specializing in Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatry including psychopharmacology, individual and family psychotherapy, psychoanalysis and parent guidance with a broad range of diagnoses and clinical problems. She is Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine, and a Training and Supervising Analyst, Emory University Psychoanalytic Institute. In addition, Dr Stoute is a Child and Adolescent Supervising Analyst at The New York Psychoanalytic Institute, and is on the faculty of the Southeast Child Psychoanalytic Consortium in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her writings on race and racism have appeared in numerous issues of The American Psychoanalyst, and she is currently co-editing a book with Michael Slevin, Race in the Therapeutic Encounter.

Details regarding meeting time, cost, and location will follow. For any further questions, please contact APS Program Committee Chair, Nancy D. Chase, PhD, LCSW, nchase.lcsw@gmail.com


About Continuing Education

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION FOR ALL LEARNERS: None of the planners and presenters of this CME program have any relevant financial relationships to disclose.

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of (name of accredited provider) and (name of nonaccredited provider). The (name of accredited provider) is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.”

The American Psychoanalytic Association designates this Live Activity for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. CEU credits will be provided for Social Workers, LPCs, and LMFTs.


November 3, 2018
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category:


Nancy Chase, PhD, LCSW