Webinar:  "Multicultural Aspects of Psychoanalysis"

This webinar seeks to explore how psychoanalysis manifests and adapts in different cultures worldwide, highlighting variations in its expression and practice worldwide. Feedback is expected on how colleagues integrate local norms and values into their work. In addition, it would address the clinical implications of working with patients from diverse backgrounds, highlighting the importance of cultural sensitivity and competence in psychoanalytic therapy. The webinar would also discuss ethical issues related to psychoanalysis in a multicultural context, including the challenges and opportunities for practitioners in this dynamic and globalised field. Finally, it will promote a dialogue on best practices and strategies for effective and respectful psychoanalytic practice in an increasingly diverse society.



Usha Tummala-Narra, Ph.D.
Usha Tummala-Narra, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and the Director of Community-Based Education at the Albert and Jessie Danielsen Institute and Research Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Boston University. Her research and scholarship focus on immigration, trauma, race, and culturally informed psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Her publications include over 100 peer-reviewed articles and chapters in books. She is also in Independent Practice and works primarily with survivors of trauma from diverse sociocultural backgrounds. Dr. Tummala-Narra is an Associate Editor of Psychoanalytic Dialogues and the Asian American Journal of Psychology. She is a member of the Holmes Commission on Racial Equality in American Psychoanalysis, initiated by the American Psychoanalytic Association. She is the author of Psychoanalytic Theory and Cultural Competence in Psychotherapy (2016) and the editor of Trauma and Racial Minority Immigrants: Turmoil, Uncertainty, and Resistance (2021), both published by the American Psychological Association Books.

Presentation: Engaging with Sociocultural Trauma in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy - READ PAPER
Sociocultural trauma is a global public health crisis. This presentation examines the impact of xenophobia and racism on intrapsychic and interpersonal life. A psychoanalytic approach that emphasizes decolonizing existing theories and practices is explored, with the purpose of attuning to the experiences of individuals coping with sociocultural traumas.

Xochitl Marsilli-Vargas
Xochitl Marsilli-Vargas is an Associate Professor in the department of Spanish and Linguistics at Emory University. Dr. Marsilli-Vargas’ work centers on the semiotics of listening, migration, translation, linguistic analysis, new media technologies, and psychoanalysis. She received her PhD in Cultural and Linguistic Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley and holds a Masters in Semiotics from Columbia University in NYC. Her book Genres of Listening. An Ethnography of Psychoanalysis in Buenos Aires (Duke University Press, 2021) is an ethnography of listening practices. It proposes that listening can be categorized into genres: just as there are many ways of speaking, there are many possible ways of listening. The empirical basis of her work has been Mexico, the United States, and Argentina where she has conducted extensive ethnographic fieldwork in rural, institutional and urban contexts. She is the recipient of the Mellon New Direction Fellowship and she is currently working on the project "Silencing as Care" analysing asylum interviews of unaccompanied minors wanting to immigrate to the United States.

Presentation: “What you really mean is...”: The circulation of psychoanalytic listening in Buenos Aires - READ PAPER
In this presentation I examine the circulation of psychoanalytic listening outside the clinical setting through the analysis of the addressivity form “what you really mean is…,” uttered after casual interactions in Buenos Aires. The analysis centers on the displacement from the denotational axis to an hermeneutic interpretation of the words, based on the idea of unconscious practices. I also explore the ethical effects of listening through a psychoanalytic framework outside of the clinical setting.


Naoe Okamura, MD, Ph.D., is a candidate at the Training Institute of Japan Psychoanalytic Society. She currently works at a private outpatient clinic, psychiatric hospital, and private practice of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy in Tokyo.