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Is This a Cultural Thing? Personality, Race, and Culture in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

September 21, 2023 @ 7:00pm - 9:00pm EDT

Is a patient’s distress predominantly rooted in their personality or in the cultural milieu, or both?
There has been a tendency to separate the psyche and the social throughout the history of psychoanalysis, and tensions persist in theorizing about this issue. In this program, we will explore how personality is shaped by sociocultural context and how racial stereotypes and racism are embedded in conceptualizations of personality. We will further examine how a person’s experiences are rooted in personality, family dynamics, and sociocultural trauma. Nuanced understandings of individual experiences of sociocultural context will be emphasized as we consider how personality, race, and culture intersect and interact in the therapeutic relationship.

Usha Tummala-Narra, PhD; Desta Lissanu, MD; Lana Elhalabi, MD & Elisa Cheng, MD

Debbie Steinke