Culturally Informed Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy
For individuals in the U.S. & U.S. territories
In Culturally Informed Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Dr. Pratyusha Tummala-Narra demonstrates her approach to psychotherapy that involves an integration of contemporary psychoanalytic theory, multicultural psychology, and feminist psychology.
Her theoretical understanding of clients' presenting issues is based on the idea that individual development is shaped by interpersonal, sociocultural, and systemic factors and circumstances. She presents a model for a psychoanalytic, culturally informed psychotherapy which extends existing conceptualizations within psychoanalysis and psychology to a deeper understanding of the interplay between the individual and his/her sociocultural world, and its influence on identity, relationships, and psychological well-being.
In this video, Dr. Tummala-Narra demonstrates this approach to therapy with a Caucasian woman who is coming into therapy to deal with deep-rooted feelings regarding race and racial tension.
This video features a client portrayed by an actor on the basis of actual case material.
Dr. Pratyusha Tummala-Narra's framework for culturally informed psychoanalytic psychotherapy contains five areas of focus:
- Attending to indigenous narrative
- Considering the role of language and affect
- Addressing social oppression and traumatic stress
- Recognizing the complexity of cultural identifications
- Expanding self-examination
This approach is relevant to psychotherapy with clients of all sociocultural backgrounds. Further, it recognizes the experiences of people on the margins, the role of social injustice and privilege in identity development, relational life and psychological health, the dynamic and hybrid nature of culture, and the client's and the therapist's self-inquiry.
Therapeutic interventions reflect thoughtful listening to the client's experiences of marginalization, expressions of distress, pathology, and resilience, and complex and conflictual cultural identifications, attending to conscious and unconscious processes related to the client's and the therapist's lives, and addressing the dynamics of the therapeutic relationship.
Usha Tummala-Narra received her PhD in clinical psychology from Michigan State University. She has held clinical, research, teaching, and administrative roles throughout her career.
She is the former director of the Asian Mental Health Clinic and supervising psychologist in the Victims of Violence Program, both at Cambridge Health Alliance/Harvard Medical School, and a supervising psychologist at Georgetown University School of Medicine and the Michigan School of Professional Psychology.
Dr. Tummala-Narra has practiced psychotherapy for more than 20 years. She is currently an associate professor in the Department of Counseling, Developmental and Educational Psychology at Boston College, and a teaching associate at the Cambridge Health Alliance/Harvard Medical School. She has an independent practice in Cambridge, MA.
Her publications concern research, theory, and clinical practice in the areas of multicultural issues, particularly immigration and race, and traumatic stress. She has also written extensively on psychoanalytic perspectives in psychotherapy.
This is a therapist that knows the complex sorrow of clinical work and who can reflect on it…Listening to Tummala-Narra listen to her client opened up new ways of experiencing the complexity and fluid nature of our cultural narratives.
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