Celia Brickman

Celia Brickman
psychotherapist & author


*photo by Jasmine Kwong


Psychotherapy Services

Adjunct faculty, Chicago Institute of Psychoanalysis


Clinical Associate Faculty, Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy                                                   

Scholar in Residence and full-time psychotherapist, Center for Religion & Psychotherapy of Chicago


1525 E53rd Street Suite 935

Chicago (Hyde Park) IL 60615


30 N. Michigan Avenue Suite 1920

Chicago IL 60602


​​Race in Psychoanalysis:

Aboriginal Populations in the Mind

Routledge Press, 2018

Relational Perspectives Series



In his essay on "The Unconscious," Freud

wrote that "The Content of the Ucs. may be

compared with an aboriginal population in the

mind." This book takes this statement as

emblematic of the way the presumed mental

primitivity of colonized and enslaved peoples

contributed to psychoanalytic understandings

of the western self and its raced others.

Race in Psychoanalysis surveys psychoanalysis from a postcolonial perspective, demonstrating how the colonialist discourse of late nineteenth-century anthropology made its way into Freud's foundational texts, where it continues to exert a hidden racial influence even today. While continuing to hold psychoanalysis in high regard for its vital approach to psychological suffering and for its nuanced contributions to the exploration of subjectivities, this book explores the link between the now-outdated anthropological concept of "primitivity," and Freud's psychological use of it. The concept of “primitivity” in psychoanalysis is so ubiquitous and its uses so multifarious that it connects issues of race to various elements in the construction of subjectivity; to issues of gender; and to the role of religion within Freud's corpus. All of this is connected to the historicizing framework of psychoanalysis, which models modern subjectivity as arising though a renegotiation of the primitive past. The book ends with a chapter on how these ideas filter into the clinical encounter, and its epilogue suggests possible disentanglements for psychoanalysis from this legacy.