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Working with Chinese Patients: Are there Conflicts Between Chinese Culture and Psychoanalysis?

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ABSTRACT

Despite differences between Chinese culture and Western culture (Sun, 2004), modern Chinese are gradually accepting psychoanalysis and psychodynamic therapy as options for dealing with psychological problems and inner conflicts (Gerlach, 1999). Through my own experience of being analyzed and vignettes from my clinical practice as a Chinese analytic psychotherapist, I argue that: (1) although there are conflicts at philosophic and cultural levels between Chinese culture and psychoanalysis, modern Chinese may have varying experiences in psychoanalytic and psychodynamic situations and (2) such cultural conflicts cannot be ignored or regarded only as defenses in the psychoanalytic situation in China. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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