As I’ve written about on this site before, one of the best short programs for anyone interested in culture and mental health is the Summer School in Social and Cultural Psychiatry held annually at McGill. The course at the center of the curriculum is “Cultural Psychiatry: A Critical Introduction” which consists primarily of lectures by Laurence Kirmayer, Allan Young, Cécile Rousseau, Eric Jarvis and other members of McGill’s Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry. If you can’t make it to the Summer School itself, you can now view videos of all of the “Cultural Psychiatry” lectures from 2012 online for free. This is a fantastic introduction to cultural psychiatry delivered by scholars who have been teaching the course for many years. The videos have also been produced very professionally, with slides edited in and multiple camera angles (!)
The entire series of lectures can be viewed on the Summer School’s site. I am also embedding the first two videos, which serve as a kind of introduction to the course, and listing the others – with links to the individual videos on YouTube along with brief descriptions.
Also, check out this separate post on the videos the from Summer School’s new “Critical Neuroscience” course.
Cultural Psychiatry: A Critical Introduction
To understand what is built into our mental health practice in order to look at it critically, Laurence Kirmayer examines the culture of psychiatry and psychology.
Laurence Kirmayer looks at the shifting meanings of culture, especially in an increasingly mobile global population. He also discusses how culture might figure in psychiatric nosology.
Laurence Kirmayer looks at three forms of somatization, the problem of dualism in medicine, cultural idioms of distress and how experience is expressed in and through the body.
Laurence Kirmayer looks at medically unexplained symptoms, the potential meaning of somatic symptoms and the cultural context of symptom reporting.
Laurence Kirmayer examines how knowledge is generated in the field of cultural psychiatry and what the limitations in the field are. The lecture covers philosophical concerns on the nature of experience and cultural difference.
Laurence Kirmayer looks at issues that arise when trying to look across cultures, for example working in one culture with tools that were developed elsewhere. He discusses problems in cross-cultural comparisons and its methodological implications.
Laurence Kirmayer discusses dissociation, trance and related issues in cultural psychiatry.
Laurence Kirmayer continues the discussion of dissociation, trance and related issues in cultural psychiatry.
Allan Young looks at culture and psychiatry: how living within a particular culture impacts on the epidemiology of psychiatric disorders; culture in psychiatry: culture permeates psychiatric practices, there are ethnocentric concepts that take into account a Western world view; and the cultures of psychiatry: just as there are cultures based on nationality and race, there are different cultures of the practice and study of psychiatry.
Allan Young continues his examination of the culture of psychiatry.
Allan Young discusses the different notions of the self. Is our idea of the self a distinctly Western notion? Is there a self? Is it essential? Are there cultures without a sense of self?
Allan Young discusses notions of self in relation to trauma and emotion. Are there culturally specific emotions?
Eric Jarvis compares how different countries treat different aspects of psychosis, particularly in immigrant and migrant groups. He also looks at the clinical and global implications of culture.
Constantin Tranulis continues the discussion on culture and psychosis with an emphasis on research possibilities in this field.
Cecile Rousseau discusses her research and work with migrant children. She speaks about the challenges of globalization, its impact on children and the implications it has on services.
Laurence Kirmayer discusses the impacts of colonization on health, and identity, adaptation and the problem of suicide in indigenous populations.
Laurence Kirmayer discusses the role cultural continuity plays in mental health. He also discusses resilience and the concept of the ecocentric self.
Laurence Kirmayer looks at universal aspects of healing, healing traditions in different cultures and the role of emotion and catharsis in healing.
Laurence Kirmayer discusses what is psychotherapy, psychotherapy as narrative processes, mode of narration, and cultural concepts of the person.
Given the role culture plays in the illness experience, was are the implications for mental health services? Laurence Kirmayer looks at some approaches and models, and investigates the rationale behind them.
A continuation of the discussion of the implications of cultural psychiatry for mental health services.
What are the forthcoming tasks for cultural psychiatry? How do we complement the focus on the biological individual with an interactional view of human problems?