Wild Analysis: Regulating the Savage Horde

Jones, Kevin. 2008. 'Wild Analysis: Regulating the Savage Horde'. In: Wilderness and Inner Space. University of Kent, United Kingdom 13th and 14th December 2008. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

The paper explores the relationship between Wilderness, inner space and the opposition to the proposed state regulation of the psychotherapies. Using the concepts of territory, deterritorialization and reterritorialization in the work of Deleuze and Guattari, it follows a path suggested by their ideas of lines of flight and desiring production leading to the transformation of the social field. The psychotherapies are considered as wilderness territories subject to the threat of deterritorialization and reterritorialization by the neo-liberal state. I follow these theoretical ‘lines of flight’ across the conference, exhibition and Wilderness themes to explore:

1). Dream space as a wild territory: Images produced by the artist/author for the conference exhibition are discussed and in which the client and the clinical supervisor deterritorialized the borders between the professional training of the author/artist as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist and art psychotherapist. The visual imagery of wild animals provoked an outbreak of ‘One or many Wolves’ based on the paper by Deleuze and Guattari, complicating the borders and frontiers between dream and social space.

2). Regulating ‘The Savage Horde’: The image ‘’GRRR’’ suggests a patrolling of the borders between the domestic and the wild. It evokes Freud’s awareness of a contradiction in psychoanalysis between the savage aspects of the unconscious territories revealed in the consulting room, his characterization of the professional organization of psychoanalysis as a ‘Savage Horde’ and his awareness of the need for an ethically based clinical practice, training and professional organization for psychoanalysis. Weber’s ‘Iron Cage of Bureaucracy’ and ‘The Disenchantment of the World’ are evoked to describe the proposed state regulation of the psychotherapies as a neo-liberal reterritorialization of both the unconscious and social space leading to a ‘Disenchantment of the Psychotherapists.’

3). The call for by the ‘Alliance for Counsellors and Psychotherapists Against State Regulation’ for a position of principled non compliance with state regulation and for an accountable and ethical practice for psychotherapists. This paper argues in support of this call on the basis that state regulation is a process of reterritorialization by the state in which the desire of the therapist is subject to the domination of another desire, a desire expressed through the deadly conjugation of capitalist relations of production and consumption. The desire of some therapists for this neo-liberal conjugation and reterritorialization through state regulation is discussed as an aspect of class struggle.

The final line of flight comes to rest on desiring production leading to transformation in the social field. Guattari in his ‘Three Ecologies’ argues the need for a political engagement of the psychotherapies in an alternative politics to that of the ‘Iron Cage’ and leading to a ’Re-enchantment of the World.’ The wilderness inspired images exhibited at the conference affirm the transformative potential of the desiring productions released in the relations between art, dream, therapy and politics. The ‘Call of the Wild’ and opposition to state regulation are lines of flight leading toward the ‘Re-Enchantment of the Psychotherapists’ and the broader political struggle for Guattari’s ‘Re-enchantment of the World’.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


Art Therapy, Counselling and Psychotherapies, Dream, Deleuze and Guattari, State Regulation,Wild,

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS)


14 December 2008Completed

Event Location:

University of Kent, United Kingdom

Date range:

13th and 14th December 2008

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

04 Nov 2010 14:23

Last Modified:

10 Jul 2017 10:43



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