1st Edition

Psychotherapy, Anthropology and the Work of Culture

Edited By Keir Martin Copyright 2019
    176 Pages
    by Routledge

    176 Pages
    by Routledge

    Anthropology and psychotherapy have a long and important historical relationship, and in this fascinating collection practitioners with experience in both fields explore how the concept of ‘culture’ is deployed to guide and frame contemporary therapeutic theory, training and practice.

    This task is particularly important as the global spread of psychotherapy, as both an outgrowth of and a potential point of critique to globalised hyper-capitalism, requires us to think differently about how to conceptualise cultural difference in psychotherapy.

    Psychotherapy, Anthropology and the Work of Culture provides a valuable resource for psychotherapeutic professionals working in a world in which cultural difference appears in fluid and transient moments. It will also provide essential reading for students and researchers working across the fields of psychotherapy and anthropology.


    Author biographies

    Tanja Luhrmann. Preface

    Keir Martin. Introduction

    James Davies. Lessons from the Anthropological Field: reflecting on where culture and psychotherapy meet

    Junko Kitanaka. Overcoming mistrust of the psychological: a history of psychotherapy in Japan

    Inga-Britt Krause. Relating with or without Culture

    Keir Martin. Therapy and the rise of the multicultural

    Karen Seeley. History in the psyche, particles in the self: The case of Z

    Salma Siddique. Western Configurations: Ways of Being

    Vincent Crapanzano. Sprialling Transference: Ellen West and the Case History

    Sudhir Kakar. Afterword


    Keir Martin is Associate Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Oslo and was previously Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester. He has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in East New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea and is a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

    "A much-needed book that challenges psychotherapists and counsellors to engage with more sophisticated and up-to-date understandings of culture. Given the current emphasis on cultural competencies this book could not be more timely." --Rose Cameron, Department of Counselling and Psychotherapy, University of Edinburgh

    "With its rich, thoughtful and accessible reflections on the intersections between the anthropological ethnographic  method and psychoanalysis and psychotherapeutic practice, this volume unsettles the individual and society/culture binary to expand our appreciation of the nature of social relations. Keir Martin brings together contributors who not only have a ‘feel’ for both disciplines but also the capacity to ask the challenging questions that push boundaries. This book is fascinating and timely." --Louise Gyler, Psychoanalyst and Author, The Gendered Unconscious: Can Gender Discourses Subvert Psychoanalysis?

    "The agon between psychoanalysis and anthropology goes back a century, and has hardly been resolved. In Psychotherapy, Anthropology and the Work of Culture, this historic controversy is brought resoundingly alive in its contemporary context. In a series of rigorously argued and incisive chapters, the authors elaborate, in various ways, on Keir Martin’s central refusal to accept the charge of ‘individualism’ that has long been levelled at psychotherapy, and also the idea that ‘culture’ is something that is done to people in the Durkheimian sense. A critical engagement with the terms ‘individual’, ‘person’, ‘self’, ‘society’ and ‘culture’ is key to the book’s notable success; but we are also presented with the subtler proposition that praxis may very well be the nodal point where these two disciplines meet. The chapters come back repeatedly, from different vantage points, to the central idea that anthropologists and psychotherapists are routinely engaged in comparable activities – observation, listening, interpretation, reconstruction, and the creation of meaning, while attempting to remain near to human experience. It is in terms of practice, rather than conceptual content, that the book promises to realise its more far-reaching ambition of enabling the two disciplines to learn from each other." --Steven Groarke, British Psycho-Analytical Society