Speaking Psychoanalytically of Race, Culture, and Immigration
“From the very beginning, Freud claims to establish an essential continuity between the ‘clinical’ and the ‘cultural’ dimensions of his works… “
(Abraham Drassinower  Freud's Theory of Culture, Eros, Loss and Politics).
Difference matters! At this time in history, psychotherapists are met with incredible diversity in our offices and clinics. We will consider culture, race, ethnicity, and immigration from a psychoanalytic viewpoint, and attend to the implications and influences of difference(s) on the therapist and patient — different generations, races, classes, etc. Traumas that are embedded in racialized histories must be located in the countertransference, recognized, and articulated. Immigration often disrupts families and includes psychological impacts that may interrupt treatment unless the impacts are considered. Further, we will appreciate the radical differences between what may be thought of as “Eastern” and “Western” minds in the individual and between patient and therapist.
To remedy fear of the “other,” we need to stay curious and open. If there is to be true potential for mutual growth and development in our clinics and offices, our field, and our worlds, we must attend to the ways difference matters.
- Participants will be able to analyze the cultural influences on treatments when the therapist and the patient are of different generations, or races or classes.
- Participants will be able to describe clinically how to address cumulative generational traumas in the context of changing cultural traditions and values regarding family and subjectivity.
- Participant will learn to recognize traumas emerging from racialized histories of their patients with a clearer view of their countertransference.
- Participants will examine how immigration acts as a psychological factor influencing the uses of the analyst and the setting (the frame) as well as the uses of speech and language.
- Participants will learn to appreciate the radical differences between east and west minds and their respective needs for each other’s growth and development.
- Participants will be able to focus their listening and learn to address these diverse cultural differences with their patients to discover their impact on the transference and countertransferences.
Fonagy, P. (2015). The effectiveness of psychodynamic psychotherapies: an update. World Psychiatry, 14, 137–150.
Sue Saperstein MFT, Psy.D., is a psychoanalyst, supervisor, and faculty at PINC and faculty at CAPA (Chinese American Psychoanalytic Alliance), SFCP, CPMC, SBCPS, and NCSPP. She has a private practice in San Francisco.
This course is for all mental health professionals with clinical work in private practice or clinic settings. A familiarity with and interest in psychoanalytic theory and clinical applications is helpful.
Enrollees who cancel at least SEVEN DAYS prior to the event date will receive a refund minus a $35 administrative charge. No refunds will be allowed after this time. Transfer of registrations are not allowed.