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Walls, G.B. (2004). Toward a Critical Global Psychoanalysis. Psychoanal. Dial., 14(5):605-634.

(2004). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 14(5):605-634

Toward a Critical Global Psychoanalysis

Gary B. Walls, Ph.D.

In light of the contemporary shift away from the universalizing of the Eurocentric perspective, brought into focus with the advent of globalization, it may be useful to consider reorienting traditional psychoanalytic assumptions about human nature to those that are more appropriate to the recognition of a culturally pluralistic world. The author argues that ego psychology originated in the Western Enlightenment's emphasis on liberal individualism, which has limited its applicability across races, classes, and cultures. Relational theories, in their capacity to include the examination of the socially constructed dimensions of the analytic dyad (including race, class, gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation), offer crucial theoretical and clinical possibilities, lacking in traditional psychoanalysis, that may help analysts to address some of the important cultural sources of psychological suffering. In the relational view expressed here, the unconscious—as made manifest in everyday life and in the transference and countertransference of the analytic situation—is reformulated to include social and cultural influences.

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