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Barrett, D.G. (2017). Psychoanalysis in an Age of Accelerating Cultural Change: Spiritual Globalization by Neil Altman Routledge, Hove, 2015; 140 pp. $44.95 (in paperback). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 98(3):948-952.

(2017). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 98(3):948-952

Psychoanalysis in an Age of Accelerating Cultural Change: Spiritual Globalization by Neil Altman Routledge, Hove, 2015; 140 pp. $44.95 (in paperback)

Review by:
Denia G. Barrett

At McDonald's restaurants in India you can order Indi McSpicy Chicken, Veg Supreme McMuffin, and Chilli Mango Soft Serve. You will not see any items made with beef or pork on the menu in this country where most of the population is either Hindu or Muslim. Kosher McDonald's restaurants in Israel serve McFalafel. In Japan Shrimp Fillet-o and a Teriyaki burger are offered; in Spain it's Capricho Manchego - a Spanish-style chicken wrap. In Finland the Rye McFeast and in Russia Beef a la Russ cater to those who prefer their burgers on rye bread. France? Croque McDo is a variation on the traditional Croque Monsieur. Beef and fruit producers in Italy get a boost from McDonald's stores that serve only products that are 100% Italian, such as the McItaly burger and Kiwistick, for those looking for fruit on the go. (McSpaghetti is among those happy meals that failed to find a market niche.) Go into a McDonald's in Germany and you can get a Nuremburger made with Nuremberg sausages topped with crispy onions and mustard sauce. From Vietnam to Singapore, from Saudi Arabia to Kenya the 1992 slogan ‘what you want is what you get’ applies. No one seems to ask, ‘But is it really McDonald's?’

Yet the question ‘Is it really psychoanalysis?’ is one that continues to fuel controversies in our professional world. Some want to reserve the term exclusively for the classical one-person, intrapsychic model. Others espouse two-person psychologies that encompass relational factors. In his 2015 book, Psychoanalysis in an age of accelerating change: Spiritual globalization, Neil Altman argues for ‘three-person’ psychologies that widen the psychoanalytic lens to include awareness of contextual forces (social structure, language, and meaning systems) that influence both the individual and interpersonal relationships.

[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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