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Halberstadt-Freud, H.C. (1991). Mental Health Care in China. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 18:11-18.

(1991). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 18:11-18

Mental Health Care in China

H. C. Halberstadt-Freud


This is a report of a trip to China which took place in December–January 1988–9. A group of 35 psychoanalysts were invited by the Chinese Medical Association to visit institutions of mental health. We expected to find the Chinese psychiatrists as interested in psychoanalysis as we were curious to learn their way of thinking, but this was not the case. Psychiatry in China is either drug-oriented, mixed with confidence in traditional methods, or behaviour oriented. Suggestion and re-education play a big role as does repenting. It was quite difficult to establish contact and to exchange ideas; a quick and efficient exchange of ideas as in the Western World is not feasible. Still it seems worthwhile to try because the Chinese are an intelligent and undogmatic people who are eagerly looking for new ideas. Their orientation is American. In the field of child psychiatry there is only one psychiatrist who is knowledgeable about psychoanalysis, who is responsible for 350 million children.

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