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Mental Health for Educators

This book speaks directly to university professors, teachers, those learning to teach, those involved in the helping professions, those involved in the learning lives of others, and university administrator

“Britzman and Güzel’s eloquent focus on mental health provides educators and students with the conditions of possibility for finding a ‘fellow human’ in one another. Their contribution   psychoanalytically reorients contemporary discussions of mental health towards the democratization of the social relationship of education.

Gökbörü Sarp Tanyıldız, Brock University

Mental Health for Educators opens the heart of teaching and learning with a generous regard for the complexities of education as psychological phenomenon, emotional situation, and as an expression of life. Britzman and Güzel introduce a psychoanalytic vocabulary that touches the educator’s affective experiences of teaching in crowds, online, in one’s memories of schooling, in dreams, in anxieties over burnout and rage, in disappointment and victory, in matters of belief and disagreement, and in trying to get to know the lives of others.  While most literature on mental health is dedicated to helping students and giving advice to parents, this book speaks directly to university professors, teachers, those learning to teach, those involved in the helping professions, those involved in the learning lives of others, and university administrators. With wit and clear analysis, selected topics bring into conversation matters of love and hate in pedagogy, problems of misunderstanding and loss of meaning, the handling of anxiety and inhibitions in university life, the dilemmas of helping and dependency, and pictures of mental life as our emotional situations. The book is written with style of inquiry that emerges from a view of education as a state of mind and a social bond.

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“Mental Health for Educators opens new and original ways of understanding learning and teaching as emotional situations tightly bound with the reception and response to experiences that we cannot anticipate or control.  Britzman and Güzel’s unique elaboration of the retroactive temporality of learning ties education to the contingencies of mental health through questions of care, influence, dependency, fantasies, defenses, and speech, and all as major elements that comprise ‘mental health’. This is a bold move away from education as cognitive problem and onto the idea of warmth as the grounds for an education that can tolerate the complexities of self-other relations. This book invites the imagination of the therapist, the teacher, professor and students. 

Dr. Oren Gozlan, C. Psych., ABPP, FIPA

Clinical Psychologist & Psychoanalyst

“With unparalleled rigour, insight, and imagination, Britzman and Güzel’s Mental Health for Educators shows how and why education can become our most radical relationality with one another. They do so by writing with gentleness, poetry, grace, and humour and ask readers to come to terms with interdependency, mutual recognition, and vulnerability that growth requires of teachers and students alike. The promise of education, they argue, begins with the acceptance of the difficulties inherent in the process of learning with and for others, even as the desire for psychological safety feels most urgent.  

Professor Susan Searls Giroux, 

English and Cultural Studies, McMaster University


Deborah P Britzman is Distinguished Research Professor at York University, in Toronto and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Britzman is author of nine books, the most recent, Anticipating Education: Concepts for Imagining Pedagogy with Psychoanalysis. Britzman is a working psychoanalyst, holds faculty positions in Toronto’s psychoanalytic training institutes, and is known for her contributions to the field of critical pedagogy and psychoanalysis.

Aziz Güzel, received his PhD in 2018 from York University, Toronto. His dissertation is titled, “The Problem of the body in adolescent education: a psychosocial study of care” He is a child and adolescent psychotherapist in working in Toronto and an adjunct professor teaching psychology, human development, and Education courses at York University and Seneca College in Canada.

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