Clinical Social Work Journal

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 9–17 | Cite as

Potential and Possibility: Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and Social Change with Incarcerated Patients

  • Elizabeth KitaEmail author
Original Paper


In the present paper, Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of symbolic power is used to illustrate how the practice of psychodynamic psychotherapy in a prison-based mental health treatment program constitutes both a psychological and sociological intervention, congruent with clinical needs of this particular population. The author draws from psychodynamic theory, Bourdieu’s framework and her experience as a clinical social worker with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.


Prison Psychotherapy Psychodynamic Bourdieu Social change 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School for Social WorkSmith CollegeNorthamptonUSA
  2. 2.San FranciscoUSA

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