When Worlds Collide: Working across Ethnic, Cultural, and Religious Differences

SPECIAL GUEST, Dr. Abbasi will discuss the special issues that come up when the patient and the analyst/therapist have significant differences in their cultural, religious, and ethnic backgrounds. The recognition of issues pertaining to such differences, and their useful clinical management, will be discussed, with attention to the beginning, middle, and ending phases of treatment. In addition, we will focus on the emergence of these matters in the transference, how differences can be used in the service of resistance, and on the importance of counter-transference responses in the therapist/analyst, when faced with patients’ powerful reactions to, and use of, the “difference” within the therapeutic dyad.


Friday, September 25, 2015 - 7:30pm to 9:30pm
7:00 PM - Registration/Wine & Cheese



4455 Morena Boulevard, Suite 202
San Diego, CA 92117
United States
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SDPC Graduate Members free, non-members $30, students $20

Educational Objective(s)

  • Describe how ethnic, cultural, and religious differences between patient and analyst can impact a treatment.
  • Work with patients across such differences, to foster a therapeutic alliance, deepen transferences, and analyze resistances that threaten to impede treatment.
  • Recognize the various possible counter-transferences evoked in the analyst/therapist, when faced with patients’ negative feelings about the difference in the therapeutic dyad, and be able to monitor and use such counter-transferences.

Presenter Information

Guest Presenter: Aisha Abbasi, M.D.

Originally from Pakistan, Dr. Aisha Abbasi is President of, as well as training and supervising analyst at, the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute. She is the author of two book chapters on the topic of ethnic differences and working across such differences. She has written and presented papers on the analyst’s infertility, analyzing the children of immigrants, and dealing with action in psychoanalytic treatment. Her book The Rupture of Serenity: External Intrusions and Clinical Technique was published by Karnac Books in 2013.