The Psychological Effects of Immigrating
A Depth Psychology Perspective on Relocating to a New Place
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Exploring immigration from psychological, historical, clinical, and mythical perspectives, this book considers the varied and complex answers to questions of why people immigrate to entirely new places and leave behind their familiar surroundings and culture.
Using research reviews, extensive case material, and literary examples (such as Virgil’s The Aeneid), Robert Tyminski’s work will deepen readers’ understanding of what is both unique and universal about migratory experiences. He addresses the negative consequences of xenophobia, the acculturation experiences of children compared to adults, the trauma and psychological issues that arise when seeking refuge or relocating to a new country, and the more recent implications of COVID-19 upon border crossings. Tyminski also re-evaluates the term identity as a psychological shorthand, suggesting that it can flatten our understanding of human complexity and erase migrant and refugee life stories and differences. As one of few books to investigate immigration from a Jungian-oriented perspective, Robert Tyminski’s work offers a new and broad perspective on the mental health issues related to immigration.
This book will prove essential for clinicians working with refugees and migrants, when in training and in practice, as well as students and practitioners of psychoanalysis seeking to deepen their understanding of migratory experiences.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Thomas Singer, 1. Where Do I Belong?, 2. "Just Black Sometimes", 3. Long Wandering, 4. Careful about the Forest, 5. Ad Astra, 6. Is Identity a Fiction?, 7. Pandemic, 8. Finding Safe Harbor, 9. Images of Immigrant Experiences, 10. Two Roads, 11. Relocation Mysteries
Robert Tyminski is a Jungian analyst in San Francisco. He is a member and past president of the C. G. Jung Institute of San Francisco. His previous books were Male Alienation at the Crossroads of Identity, Culture and Cyberspace and The Psychology of Theft and Loss: Stolen and Fleeced.
'This is one of the most important books ever written by a Jungian analyst. Moving beyond the too-simple dynamic of self and other, Tyminski focuses on the shared reality of coming from different places. Offering cross-cultural examples both classical and clinical, he shows that theories of individual development that focus mainly on the need to establish identity have impeded our ability to engage with the way people's lives unfold. With uncommon clarity and compassion, he sees that we are becoming global citizens who will have to face the repeated crises of relocation and that we have in common both the duty and the drive to rethink our insistence upon boundaries.'
John Beebe is author of Integrity in Depth
'A rare, rich portrait composed of personal history and experience, psychological insight, mythic background and socio-political commentary is provided by Tyminski. He offers us a compelling overview of the many faces of migration, immigration and the refugee's plight. Empathic psychotherapy practice is amply demonstrated throughout, along with a deep understanding of the dilemmas, personal and collective, facing those who choose or are forced to leave their home country. A healing balm is offered for xenophobic injuries.'
Joe Cambray is President-CEO of the Pacifica Graduate Institute
'Robert Tyminski has written an extraordinarily compelling book on the key psychological issues affecting immigrants with great authenticity, and easily navigates the multi-layered issues of their prolonged and current struggles with belonging, identity, culture, language, pandemics, and more. Beyond an exhaustive and updated review of the literature on the psychological and clinical aspects of migration, Tyminski brings his insightful analytical experience of psychosocial counselling with young refugees in a reception center and patients in a more traditional psychotherapeutic practice. Adopting a Jungian perspective, he goes back and forth between mythical and clinical themes with great spontaneity, offering the reader an in-depth map to orient himself among the main issues affecting these patients, and the vital construct of psychological "perimeters." The presence of numerous autobiographical and clinical examples adds uniqueness, making the picture both real and personal.'
Monica Luci is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst with the Italian Refugee Council, Italy
'Dr. Robert Tyminski takes us on an epic journey through the heart and soul of immigrant experience, its traumas and psychological stressors. It is a book written from both a heartfelt personal and mythical perspective, and widespread practical and clinical experience. His vision is filtered through his unique conceptualization of perimeter and identity, and he unearths and challenges the roots of society's xenophobic and racist practices. It is a wonderful book of humanness and homecoming.'
Marcus West is author of Into the Darkest Places: Early Relational Trauma and Borderline States of Mind
'Robert Tyminski's book offers lively, full-blooded consulting room stories working with patients of all ages; the binding through-line has to do with immigration but, without a doubt, this book is a treasure trove for students learning the art/craft of psychotherapy. Further, he applies clinical skills as a cultural anthropologist exploring the very real struggles of refugees from Syria who have relocated to Germany. Tyminski coherently weaves well-told tales from the individual to collectives across cultural/geographical/generational divides and within our own country where gay people often feel like foreigners.'
Linda Carter is a Jungian analyst in Carpinteria, California