Online IOP for College Students and Emerging Adults in MA in Network with Carelon

CE/CME Courses

The Vanishing of Culture in Psychoanalysis: History and New Directions

1.5 CE/CME credits
Instructor: Chris Christian, PhD
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There was a period in the United States during the 1930s and 40s that was marked by a vibrant interest in how the fields of cultural anthropology and psychoanalysis could inform each other. By the 1990s the psychoanalytic landscape had changed considerably, and any interest in cultural psychoanalysis appeared to have all but vanished. Candidates entering analytic training during this period faced two pernicious biases that converged into a type of conventional wisdom with a deleterious impact on training: On the one hand there was the implicit belief that any interest by a candidate in cultural issues suggested a less serious interest in psychoanalysis; and on the other, there was the belief that psychoanalysis was simply irrelevant to the suffering of minoritized populations. In this presentation, after revisiting the decline of cultural psychoanalysis in the United States, the author will discuss the treatment of a patient presenting with a culture bound syndrome known as ataque de nervios. The treatment serves as a challenge to biases within psychoanalysis and about psychoanalysis. The presentation will conclude by arguing for a new paradigm of cultural theorizing.