William See ’15, a Colorado College philosophy major and psychoanalysis minor from Delafield, Wisconsin, has won the American Psychoanalytic Association's prize for the best undergraduate paper in psychoanalysis. This is the second year in a row that a CC student has won the distinguished national prize. See’s paper, "Owning Experience," explores the process of integration and concept of self within the psychoanalytic concept of “owning” experience.
“Healthy psychology is understood in terms of integrating unconscious processes and a vital self-expression, but what is involved in this process is often obscure,” See said. “The process cannot be framed in terms of rational understanding and control, for that would suggest that bringing to awareness unconscious processes constitutes health. Instead of rational understanding and control, I suggest ‘owning’ an experience (or experience in general) enables a subject to maintain a coherent psyche and realize new ways of being-in-the-world that are not limited to her reason or ego-identity.
“I was inspired to write this essay by my interactions with others,” he said. “To what degree are we responsible for who we are in what seems like the deterministic framework of psychoanalysis? And to what degree can I actually change who I am? What is required for such change? And what does it look like?” are among the questions See asks.
“This essay would not have come close to being what it is, or winning the contest, without the support and encouragement from (Philosophy Professor) John Riker and (Classics Professor) Marcia Dobson,” he said.
Last year Caroline Beaton ’13 won the award with a paper titled “To the Lighthouse and Oedipal Triangle.”