Psychoanalysis in China - ed. David E. Scharff and Sverre Varvin


Psychoanalysis took root in many countries around the world in the twentieth century, but China has special significance. It was, of course, the largest country from which analysis was completely excluded, from 1949 until the Chinese opening up began in the 1980s. It was not only the banning of psychoanalytic thought that marked China in this period. There was also an absence of an effective mental health system during times of great need in China because of war, famine, industrial collapse, enormous population growth, and changes in social structure. This was followed with further changes in family structure through the one-child policy, new policies of entrepreneurship, economic growth, urbanisation, and increasing exposure to the West.

This journal is conceived as a meeting place of cultures, as a place in which the issues of this important world encounter can be documented and examined. It is intended to be an intercultural journal in which theory and clinical experience can be presented and discussed. At a practical level, the editorial board is composed equally of eminent Chinese and Western colleagues who share an interest in the introduction and development of psychoanalysis in China. It contains articles from both Chinese and Western contributors, with discussion of ideas, and is a must-read for those with an interest in the development of psychoanalytic therapy in China.

The introduction of psychoanalysis to China over the last twenty years brings a clash between Eastern and Western philosophical backgrounds. Chinese patients, therapists, and trainees struggle with assumptions inherent in an analytic attitude steeped in Western ideas of individualism that are often at odds with a Chinese Confucian ethic of respect for the family and the work group. The situation is further complicated by the rapid evolution of Chinese culture itself, emerging from years of trauma, new economics, and the one-child policy of the last generation that has introduced a new Chinese brand of individualism and new family structure that are not equivalent to those of the West. This volume breaks new ground in exploring these issues and challenges to the introduction of analytic therapies into China, not only from the viewpoint of Western teachers, but also from Chinese teachers, clinicians, anthropologists, and observers.

Publisher: Phoenix Publishing House

Published: September 2014

Format: Paperback

Pages: 352

Dimensions: 24.5 x 2.2 x 19 cm

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