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Akhtar, S. (2015). Where is India in My Psychoanalytic Work?. Psychoanal. Rev., 102(6):873-911.

(2015). Psychoanalytic Review, 102(6):873-911

Where is India in My Psychoanalytic Work?

Salman Akhtar, M.D.

Taking for granted that an analyst's ethnic and national origin can influence his or her theoretical and technical preferences, I have attempted to highlight the role of India in my psychoanalytic life. I have expanded the death instinct concept and sought to soften the impasse between psychoanalysis and religion from an Indian perspective. I have also demonstrated how aspects of Indian culture affect my clinical practice, including my office décor, my therapeutic attitude, my language, and my interventions with patients. By providing such details, I am hoping to establish my veracity for non-Indian psychoanalysts and to inspire Indian psychoanalysts towards greater authenticity. More importantly, my hope is to enhance dialogue between psychoanalysis and Indian thought since such discourse has the potential to enrich both disciplines.

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