What is Political Therapy?
It is a practice between two persons which deals with problems of a political nature and creates the conditions to develop other languages to talk about and do politics.
The session is structured around a political problem brought forth by whomever is receiving the session. A “political problem” is any problem, thought or question that the person is directly experiencing that will be formulated as a political question. It may be something that bothers or preoccupies her, regardless of whether it is primarily lived out on a practical, personal, ideological, conceptual or existential level.
Nor the therapist nor the patient is responsible for any kind of ‘solution’ to the problem. The problem is rather treated as an occasion for language to develop, for speculation to happen and politics to be felt. It’s a therapy for those who do not need, nor want, to be fixed. The role of therapist and patient are always exchangeable.
What is therapy?
“Therapy is not the reconduction of the sick body to normality but of Being to what is possible to be.”
Franco Bifo Berardi
“Perhaps one day we will know that there wasn’t any art but only medicine”
J.M.G. Le Clèzio
How should I give/receive Political Therapy?
One person takes the role of the Therapist (T) and the other person takes the role of the Patient (P).
- T invites P to tell her what her political problem is. T and P discuss as briefly as possible to formulate P’s problem in the most concise and clear way possible, it is best if formulated as a question.
- T invites P to embody her political problem and to lie down either on her front or back, in a most comfortable and relaxed position.
- T shuffles the set of fake therapy cards and picks the first 4 cards from the deck
- T can start from the indication written in the cards to perform the hands-on healing on P until T feels that it is enough – minimum time for this session is 10 minutes.
- T tells P that she has finished and asks P, who is still embodying the problem, how she is feeling and if she had any images, thoughts or sensations during the therapy.
- T and P engage in a discussion about the problem starting from what they experienced during the therapy, connecting it with the original issue.
- T and P can write together a conceptual map, putting down the problem/question in the middle of the page and linking it with all the thoughts, ideas and possibilities that are coming out of the talk. Until they both feel it is enough.
To practice you can make your own deck of fake therapy cards. You can find the existing cards here: https://faketherapy.wordpress.com/cards-deck/
A short clip from a public presentation of this map in Kunstverein Amsterdam in July 2013:
An article in Manifesta Journal #16: