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Keywords:

  • psychoanalysis;
  • professional identity;
  • Western and Chinese culture

One important element in psychoanalysis, which is derived from Western culture, is individualization: the independency and autonomy of an individual are highly valued. However, one of the significant essences in Chinese culture is that the collective interests transcend the individual interests and the interests of social groups are more important than those of families. Therefore, when learning and practicing psychoanalytic psychotherapy, Chinese clinicians inevitably experience conflicts derived from this difference of cultural values. This article attempts to use a historical perspective to discuss the current challenges of professional identity for Chinese clinicians learning and practicing psychoanalytic psychotherapy and psychoanalysis.