Perverting the course of therapy: IAPT and the fetishization of governance.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In this chapter, I draw on Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalytic theory to consider the notion of perversion and fetishisation within the context of contemporary UK public mental health services which have been subject to New Public Management (NPM) restructuring. Offering an organizational case example based on clinical experience within an IAPT service, I explore how services that are subject to neo-liberal regulatory and performance management systems sponsor a perverse organizational solution to the anxieties and difficulties of dealing with psychologically distressed patients. I conclude that theorizing the unconscious dynamics of perversion and fetishism may provide an opportunity to rethink governmentality, offering a potentially fruitful means of addressing recent political concerns about the negative impact of a ‘target culture’ on public sector health services.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Industrialisation of Care: counselling, psychotherapy and the impact of IAPT.
PublisherPCCS Books
ISBN (Print)9781910919453
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2019

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