This paper arises out of recognition of the shared importance of psychodynamic theory in our approaches to teaching and research. We demonstrate how psychodynamic ideas – broadly defined as encouraging people to engage more closely with thoughts and feelings that may be hidden from the conscious mind – can be applied in many, diverse, and radical ways. We also show how such an approach can be problematic both for students and teachers. In writing this paper we take issue with those writers who want to separate therapy from education, insisting as they do that 'therapeutic education' involves a 'diminished' notion of the subject who sees him or herself as a victim of circumstances. Instead, we suggest that entering the border country between therapeutic and educational processes and ideas can be deeply rewarding as well as empowering for teachers, researchers and learners alike.
Studies in the Education of Adults is an international refereed academic journal, publishing theoretical, empirical and historical studies from all sectors of post-initial education and training. It provides a forum for the debate and development of key concepts. Studies in the education of adults is published by NIACE in association with the Standing Conference on University Research and Teaching in the Education of Adults (SCUTREA), the Universities Association for Continuing Education (UACE) and the European Society for Research on the Education of Adults (ESREA).