Clinical Work and Cultural Imagination*

Sudhir Kakar

in Culture and Psyche

Second edition

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780195696684
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080304 | DOI:
Clinical Work and Cultural Imagination*

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By analysing clinical experience with Hindu patients in India, this essay explores the cross-cultural validity of psychoanalysis. It examines whether psychoanalysis can be applied to culturally traditional patients in non-Western societies and, if so, whether it makes a considerable difference in their mental life. It argues that a key requirement for psychoanalysis is the presence of psychological modernity, the essence of individuation and individuality. It claims that psychoanalysis is possible with persons who do not share the modern Western version of psychological modernity but adhere instead to their own traditional concept of individuation. However, this does not mean that Hindu patients, for example, do not differ from their European counterparts.

Keywords: India; patients; psychoanalysis; cross-cultural validity; non-Western societies; mental life; psychological modernity; individuation

Chapter.  5977 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology

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