Sidewalk Talk

Dr. Fernando Castrillon on psychoanalysis, capitalism, and loneliness | Dr. Fernando Castrillon

June 8, 2021

Psychoanalysis has long been thought of as outdated, misogynistic, and even racist—a type of therapy for the rich and privileged. In fact, Dr. Fernando Castrillon thought as much himself when he first encountered psychoanalysis, but has since changed his mind, and is working to change the minds of others through his work and words on the subject. 

On this episode of The Sidewalk Talk podcast, Traci talks with Dr. Fernando on all things psychoanalysis, how it differs from more typical forms of therapy practiced in the West, and how a psychoanalyst would address our society’s loneliness epidemic. During their conversation, Traci even shares her anger at psychotherapy with Dr. Fernando, inviting him to respond, and maybe even change listeners’ viewpoints on this practice that started with the likes of Freud and Lacan. The episode ends with Dr. Fernando’s word for you, the Sidewalk Talk listener, reiterating that psychoanalysis is, at its heart, an unlearning that makes room for another person to bring themself forward. 


Episode Milestones

[00:07] Intro 

[03:46] Meet Dr. Fernando 

[08:56] Overview of psychoanalysis and the California Dream  

[16:03] Psychoanalysis versus more “typical” therapy approaches 

[20:31] What Lacan would say about Sidewalk Talk 

[27:54] Output and a lack of receptivity in our culture 

[32:23] Traci’s anger at psychotherapy and Dr. Fernando’s response 

[36:50] The psychoanalysis of our society’s loneliness epidemic  

[44:44] Dr. Fernando’s word for you

[47:12] Outro 


Resources Mentioned

European Journal of Psychoanalysis 

California Institute of Integral Studies 

Clinic Without Walls 


Standout Quotes from the Episode

“My job then is to sit there and listen to what might arise from this place of lack, as opposed to somehow nullifying it by trying to fill it in with something. That runs directly counter to the discourse of capitalism.”
—Dr. Fernando Castrillon 

“There’s nothing that will do in, or make an encounter or an analysis fall apart more than one person thinking that by having a certain set of theoretical knowledge that they know more than the other. It makes you close your ears.”
—Dr. Fernando Castrillon 

“Theory is important to carve out our ear, but you’ve got to leave theory at the door the moment you have an encounter with somebody, otherwise all you’re doing is essentially trying to apply an ideology to a human. That’s violence.”
—Dr. Fernando Castrillon 

“We all have floaties. Psychoanalysis at its best is constantly deflating those floaties.”
—Dr. Fernando Castrillon 

“The more that we can empty ourselves out, the more the other will come forward. The less we are reliant on finding our footing in the world by trying to make the other give us a place, the more that the other will come through that is just them.”
—Dr. Fernando Castrillon 

“In the end, the best psychoanalytic training is an unlearning.”
—Dr. Fernando Castrillon 



Find | Sidewalk Talk Podcast


On Instagram: @sidewalktalkorg

On Twitter: @sidewalktalkorg


Find | Traci Ruble


On Instagram: @TraciRubleMFT

On Twitter: @TraciRubleMFT

On Facebook: @TraciRubleMFT


Find | Dr. Fernando Castrillon 


On LinkedIn: @DrFernandoCastrillon 



On Apple Podcasts

On Google Podcasts

On Spotify

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App