Cross-Cultural Treatment Issues in Psychoanalysis
As psychoanalysts in a global society we encounter patients whose cultures and languages are very different from that of the analyst's, and often unknown, possibly alien to the clinician on deeper levels. In this paper I highlight the reverberations of cultural and linguistic cross-cultural phenomena, how they impact the therapeutic alliance, the transference and counter transference, and the exquisite significance of the mother tongue from the very beginning of treatment. A case presentation underscores the issues involved and my clinical approach to the multi dimensional challenges that arose in the treatment. It is my premise that the immigrant experience, being universal, requires careful attention to the specific emotional and socio-cultural conflicts that arise for the immigrant. I conclude with some recommendations, both technical and theoretical.
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