Psychoanalysis in Persia

By Shafti, Saeed Shoja | American Journal of Psychotherapy, October 1, 2005 | Go to article overview

Psychoanalysis in Persia


Shafti, Saeed Shoja, American Journal of Psychotherapy


Dear Editor,

Psychotherapy as a non-pharmacological therapeutic intervention plays an important role in mental heath, and its various approaches makes it appropriate for people of differing cultures, subcultures, intelligence, inclinations or potentials.

But there is a type of psychotherapy that holds hidden barriers, preventing theoretical discussions about it and the diffuse use of it in traditional, conservative cultures, such as Iran, that are not yet prepared to discuss openly interpersonal relationships, personal fantasies, unconscious motivations and ideals. Although there are some psychotherapies in which the characteristic traditionalism of these cultures may be integrated, in this paper I focus on the difficulties surrounding the adoption of psychoanalysis and it's derivative methods, such psychoanalytic and short-term psychotherapy, in Iran.

Why have there been such obstacles in applying psychoanalysis in traditional societies? First, psychoanalysis has a theoretical structure that is nearly unacceptable to most of the practitioners brought up in the context of a society that favors its own culture. These therapists prefer to study in secret theses that are in opposition to widely held opinions and traditions. second, there is little support from senior advisors or educators, who often are more comfortable with existing standards of practice.

In recent centuries, scientific discoveries have moved mainly from west to east, and it is the foreign aspects of psychoanalysis that play an important role in its slow integration into practice in Iran. The elements necessary for elaborating on these scientific concepts and innovations are not established in Iranian society, and it is difficult for these foreign inventions to influence long-held customs.

In traditional societies, the adoption of foreign scientific concepts is directly influenced by its perceived acceptability to the public and cultural dictates. This is particularly the case when there seem to be no immediate, remarkable benefits or solutions attributable to the new concepts. Further, in developing countries many people are involved in fulfilling basic needs and satisfying self-preservation. In such societies mental health, although important from a clinical and therapeutic perspective, is not regarded as a priority, and its appropriate position has not been identified clearly. In such a societal framework, cultural beliefs easily inhibit opinions that shake old traditions and totems or break taboos, even if the opinions present themselves in the guise of science.

Oedipus complex, castration complex, transference phenomenon, unconscious object relations, infantile sexual process, psychosexual development, division of instincts into the sexual and aggressive, Eros and Thanatus, and so on, are themes that conflict with extreme conservative perspectives. The main imputations against psychoanalysis are that it spreads incestuous, impious beliefs and encourages sexual liberties (Freud, 1905; Freud 1910). In addition, the perception that psychoanalysis has a materialistic profile and alienates spirituality hinders its easy acceptance. Expressions in the early psychoanalytic literature, for example, "Freud's Future of an Illusion, Totem and Taboo," and "Moses and Monotheism," draw a mask of paganism on the clinical and scientific foundations of psychoanalysis. This view is not associated with other modes of psychotherapy. The use of therapies that are separated from a "philosophy," such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, and therapeutic modes that have a "magical" element, such as hypnosis, which provide an easy prompting of spiritual beliefs, are encouraged.

Understanding and accepting the metaphors of psychoanalysis require education, elasticity in the ability to reflect, and a mind open for permitting their consolidation as scientific inputs before they can be accepted into a firm and structured conviction. Considering the difficulties encountered in changing traditionalist viewpoints, we can now appreciate the great efforts expended by Sigmund Freud in establishing his findings in the world of the last century. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Psychoanalysis in Persia
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.