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Alfonso, C.A. (2010). Freud and the Far East—Psychoanalytic Perspectives on the People and Culture of China, Japan and Korea, edited by Salman Akhtar. Jason Aronson, Maryland, 2009, 327 pp., $80.00 (Hardcover). J. Amer. Acad. Psychoanal., 38(4):729-733.

(2010). Journal of American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 38(4):729-733

Book Reviews - Edited by C. A. Alfonso

Freud and the Far East—Psychoanalytic Perspectives on the People and Culture of China, Japan and Korea, edited by Salman Akhtar. Jason Aronson, Maryland, 2009, 327 pp., $80.00 (Hardcover)

Review by:
César A. Alfonso, M.D.

This edited book contains 17 essays by distinguished scholars who have dedicated their careers to the study of transcultural aspects of psychoanalytic theory and technique. Each essay can stand by itself as an invaluable contribution to our understanding of the cultures of Japan, Korea and China, and of the relevance of the cultural complexity of these countries and their people in our clinical work. Moreover, the editor carefully selected or encouraged his authors to renounce a Eurocentric, American-centric or colonial attitude with the intention of invigorating the field of psychoanalysis, stressing the notion that the theoretical contributions and clinical wisdom of our Asian colleagues may potentially illuminate all practitioners of psychoanalysis and psychodynamic psychotherapy, regardless of their own cultural backgrounds or location of practice. I encourage readers of this book to consider two parallel states of mind as we delve into the Asian psychoanalytic theoretical formulations—first, imagine how what we are reading and learning de novo could help the treatment of our Asian or Asian-American patients, and second, could these precepts and meta-psychological constructs also be of relevance in the treatment of other patients of diverse cultural backgrounds?

One-third of the book's manuscripts are reprinted in their original form from previously published manuscripts (including a manuscript by a distinguished AAPDP Fellow, Yasuhiko Taketomo).

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