ABSTRACT: The term dissociation typically describes a psychological defense that protects the psyche from emotionally overwhelming events. However, dissociation can also contribute to the maintenance and restoration of relationships following traumatic stress and overwhelming social strain. This monograph examines two aspects of late modern American society that interfere with dissociation’s contribution to social change: 1) the Enlightenment conception of human nature on which American democracy is based, and 2) America’s sharp distinctions between public and private spheres of life. Using research from human evolution, neuroscience, trauma studies, and Jungian psychology, Dissociation in Late Modern America shows how the United States has become dependent on dissociative defenses in everyday life, thus challenging the capacity for soulful connections and living. Read an exerpt by clicking here.


BOOK REVIEW: Failure to Launch and the Pain of Emotional Dependency (click to download). A Review of Separation-Individuation Struggles in Adult Life: Leaving Home, by Sarah Fels Usher. PsycCRITIQUES April 24, 2017, Vol. 62, No. 17, Article 4.

BOOK REVIEW: Artists on the Couch: Trauma and Loss in the Lives of Twentieth Century Creatives (click to download). A review of Art and Mourning: The Role of Creativity in Healing Trauma and Loss, by Esther Dreifuss-Kattan. PsycCRITIQUES January 2, 2017, Vol. 62, No. 1, Article 7.

BOOK REVIEW: The “Trauma-Focused Turn” in Critical Psychology (click to download). A review of De-Medicalizing Misery II: Society, Politics and the Mental Health IndustryEdited by Ewen Speed, Joanna Moncrieff and Mark Rapley. PsycCRITIQUES, June 1, 2015, Vol. 60, No. 22, Article 7. 


“A Phenomenology of Violence.”(click to download) In Violence in/and the Great Lakes: The Thought of VY Mudimbe and Beyond. G. Farred, K. Kavwahirehi & L. Praeg (Eds.) Thinking Africa Series. University of KwaZulu-Natal Press.

Violence and The Great Lakes

“The Betrayal That Was Love.” In Stories of Complicated Grief: A Critical AnthologyED Miller (Ed.) Washington D.C.: NASW Press.

Screenshot 2014-03-27 14.21.35

Entries in the Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology. (Depersonalization, Dissociative Identity Disorder, Globalization, PTSD & Synchronicity) (click on definition to download) Thomas Teo (Ed.) Springer Verlag.

Screenshot 2014-03-27 14.22.59

“The Humanities Reforming Psychiatry.” Theory & Psychology, 19 (3), 431-438. LKKerr-Humanities Reforming Psychiatry (click to download) (Find published version at http://tap.sagepub.com.)

“Is Social Anxiety Making Us Depressed?: A Social Evolutionary Hypothesis for Why SSRIs Work.” Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, 10 (1), 16-30. LKKerr-Is Social Anxiety Making Us Depressed? (click to download) (Find published version at www.springerpub.com.)

Pere Godé Iwele, Laura Kerr, V.Y. Mudimbe (Eds). The Normal and Its Orders: Reading Georges Canguilhem. Ottawa, Canada: Les Editions Malaïka (out of print).

Screenshot 2014-03-18 20.34.23

“Canguilhem and the New ‘Normal’.” In The Normal and Its Orders: Reading Georges Canguilhem.  V.Y. Mudimbe, Laura K. Kerr, Pere Gode Iwele (Eds). Ottawa, Canada: Les Editions Malaïka. Canguilhem & The New “Normal” (click to download)

“The ‘Borderline’ As the Sociocultural Origin of Borderline Personality Disorder and Psychiatry.” In the journal Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, 6(3), 201-215. LKKerr-The ‘Borderline’ in Psychiatry (click to download) (Find published version at www.springerpub.com.)

“Postmodern Diagnoses: Self Before Science in the Search for Identity.” In Narrative Matters 2004 Conference Proceedings. W. L. Randall, D. Furlong, & T. Poitras (Eds.). Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada: Narrative Matters Conference Planning Committee, 514-523. LKKerr-Postmodern Diagnoses (click to download)

“Foucault and the Care of the Self: Educating for Moral Action and Mental Illness.” In Philosophy of Education: 2001. Urbana: University of Illinois. Kerr-Foucault and the Care of the Self (click to download)

Laura K. Kerr and Len Dan Kerr. Screening tools for depression in primary care (click to view): The impact of culture, gender, and somatic symptoms on the detection of depression. Western Journal of Medicine, 175, 349-352.

How We Become Mentally Ill (Doctoral dissertation). Stanford University, Stanford, CA.

James G. Greeno, Randi A. Engle, Laura K. Kerr, and Joyce L. Moore. Understanding Symbols: A Situativity-Theory Analysis of Constructing Mathematical Meaning. In Fifteenth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society 1993.

T. I. Gombosi, L. K. Kerr, A. F. Nagy and R. W. Cannata. Helium in the Polar Wind. Advanced Space Research, 12 (6), 183 -186.