Contemporary psychoanalytic views on the experience of immigration

Author(s): Ricardo C. AINSLIE ; Pratyusha TUMMALA-NARRA ; Andrew HARLEM ; Laura BARBANEL ; Richard RUTH


Though one could argue that the history of psychoanalysis is intimately linked with the experience of immigration, the fact is that psychoanalytic theorizing about this experience, and its implications for treatment, have lagged far behind, even as psychoanalytic theorists have increasingly examined other nontraditional topics, such as those having to do with culture, class, and race. In this article, we address several of the key issues that are relevant to a contemporary psychoanalytic understanding of immigration as a psychological experience, as well as the implications of this experience for psychoanalytic treatment when the patient, the analyst, or both are immigrants. In some areas, we also draw from literature outside of psychoanalysis in an effort to bridge and expand theoretical conversation with other disciplines. Among the topics and themes that we explore are loss and mourning, language, ethnic identification and racism, therapeutic variables, trauma, and generational issues. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
 Tags: Psychoanalysis, History, Immigrants, Theory, Treatments

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