Looking at activism through the lens of transactional analysis

  • Li Shin Chun
Keywords: activism, discounting, Hong Kong, political oppression, protestor


Inspired by the catastrophic social unrest in Hong Kong, this article considers the political aspect of psychotherapy with a particular focus on transactional analysis. Concepts from transactional analysis such as ‘Discounting’ and ‘decontamination’ are considered in relation to working with political activists. Drawing upon her personal history, the author gives an overview of how one's political identity can be shaped by various external factors. For example, in the case of Hong Kong, how levels of socio-political involvement might reflect the varying degrees of environmental trauma experienced by individuals of different generations. In therapy, the author describes what activists might come to therapy for and how the political self of both the client and therapist might be presented in the room. By questioning some of the fundamental ideas of psychotherapy—namely, empathy and neutrality—the author invites the reader to think about the ethical implications of working with activists.


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How to Cite
Shin Chun , L. (2020). Looking at activism through the lens of transactional analysis. Psychotherapy & Politics International, 18(3), e1558. Retrieved from https://ojs.aut.ac.nz/psychotherapy-politics-international/article/view/60