Psychoanalysis in China

The world is looking East. Whilst in the West psychoanalysis is fighting to maintain its position among the other therapies in a society which has less time for introspection and self-reflective thought, in Asia a new frontier is opening up: we are witnessing a surge of interest for psychoanalysis among the mental health professionals and among the younger generations, interest which is articulated and nuanced differently in the different Asian countries. In Asia and particularly in China, India, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, the development of psychoanalysis reflects separate socio-political historical contexts, each with a rich cultural texture and fuelled by the interest of a new generation of mental health professionals for psychoanalysis as a therapeutic method.

The book is a collection of the papers presented at the first IPA Psychoanalytic Conference in China on the occasion of the Centenary of the International Psychoanalytical Association. This meeting represented an historic turning point in the long journey of psychoanalysis. For the first time mental health professionals from China, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, India, Russia (including Siberia), Ukraine and Latvia joined together with their western colleagues, to engage in a scientific project and in the common endeavour of developing further a psychoanalytic culture in Asia. Many now look at the Far East as the future area of expansion of psychoanalysis in coincidence with the rapid social changes and the economic progress of the region.

The content includes: an introduction by the editors aimed at setting the scene, a conceptual backdrop by western analysts which deals with the encounter of 'the other' in a different culture and the challenges it poses for psychoanalysis. It then presents papers from China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan which illustrate the history of their groups and societies, their struggle in establishing psychoanalysis in their countries, the tension of introducing a western science in the local culture and the clinical work in the Asian context.