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Hsu, H.C. (2015). Brief Commentary from Taiwan. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 63(3):437-438.

(2015). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 63(3):437-438

Brief Commentary from Taiwan

Hao Chung Hsu

Diego Busiol's paper points out some interesting phenomena in the three Chinese cultural areas he addresses, including the rising popularity of psychoanalysis—the so-called psycho-boom—in Mainland China and the minority status of psychoanalysis in Hong Kong's pluralistic counseling field. Regarding Taiwan, however, I think the author, perhaps due to geographical distance or less familiarity, has not provided an adequately in-depth picture of our different developmental path.

In Taiwan, the independent psychoanalytic movement developed gradually and with difficulty, through the efforts of generations of individual psychiatrists and psychologists over the past forty years. The most striking characteristics of this movement in Taiwan are the spontaneity and diversity of those involved. Here we have had individuals interested in psychoanalysis contributing to this movement in various ways. Forty years ago, the first generation translated important works by Freud, Jung, Adler, and Erich Fromm. This period was followed by a time when psychiatrists and mental health workers began undertaking psychoanalytic study and training abroad—in the United States, England, and France. Currently there is one study group / psychoanalytic association in Taiwan, and work is proceeding toward the realization of an independent psychoanalytic training center.

It is important, therefore, to stress that the development of psychoanalysis has taken different forms in Hong Kong, Mainland China, and Taiwan. It is the culmination of many different factors—people, culture, leadership, social structures, etc.—as these have played out in the three areas. There is no single crucial factor that determines the outlook of such a large social movement. Moreover, psychoanalysis is not simply a psychological methodology; it is a new way of viewing life, a new relationship between self and other, and self and the world.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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