chapter  1
Power Relations in the Offi ce
Pages 42

The subject of power as it plays out in the therapeutic situation has come rather late to the psychoanalytic literature (Leffert, 2010a, especially chapters 1 and 7 ). However, its relevance to the wider areas of the treatment of people termed mentally ill and its presence in social relations generally has been a subject of inquiry and discourse in other disciplines for many decades. Foucault (1961/2006a), in his monumental work History of Madness , offers a history of society’s dealings with both madness ( folie ) and the mad ( fou ) from the 17th to the beginnings of the 19th century. Trained as a clinical psychologist as well as a philosopher, he portrays the relationship in terms of power and fear of contagion. The fou are to be corrected, linking them to the second of Foucault’s (1979/1995) great concerns, the prison and the imprisoned.