A natural element of my current Japanese psychoanalysis project is the question of transcultural or cross-cultural psychiatry – the variations in how mental health and illness is experienced, discussed, and treated across cultures.
A small-scale project based at Glasgow University, of which I’ve been a part, has recently borne its first fruit, so please do take a look here and share your comments and wisdom…
My main interests here lie in the particular cases of Japan and India and in the possibility of treating religion and spirituality as cultures or sub-cultures – and thereby bringing some of the thinking about transcultural psychiatry to bear upon them. In the group we discussed a wide range of concerns above and beyond this, from the global politics of mental health to the use of psychiatry in socio-political critique – the latter not such a far-fetched enterprise, given the powerful effect of everyday surroundings on mental health.
You can read my short report on Democratizing Responsibility here, and there’s a podcast here.