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
Lecture 1, Part 1: 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.
Lecture 1, Part 2: Cultural Psychiatry: a Critical Introduction
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.
Lecture 2, Part 1: Somatization and Bodily Idioms of Distress
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.
Lecture 2, Part 2: Somatization and Bodily Idioms of Distress
Laurence Kirmayer looks at medically unexplained symptoms, the potential meaning of somatic symptoms and the cultural context of symptom reporting.
Lecture 3, Part 1: Research Methods in Cultural Psychiatry
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.
Lecture 3, Part 2: Research Methods in Cultural Psychiatry
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.
Lecture 4, Part 1: Trance, Possession and Dissociation in Cultural Psychiatry
Laurence Kirmayer discusses dissociation, trance and related issues in cultural psychiatry.
Lecture 4, Part 2: Trance, Possession and Dissociation in Cultural Psychiatry
Laurence Kirmayer continues the discussion of dissociation, trance and related issues in cultural psychiatry.
Lecture 5, Part 1: Culture/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.
Lecture 5, Part 2: Culture/Psychiatry
Allan Young continues his examination of the culture of psychiatry.
Lecture 6, Part 1: Culture and Emotion
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?
Lecture 6, Part 2: Culture and Emotion
Allan Young discusses notions of self in relation to trauma and emotion. Are there culturally specific emotions?
Lecture 7, Part 1: Culture and Psychoses
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.
Lecture 7, Part 2: Culture and Psychoses
Constantin Tranulis continues the discussion on culture and psychosis with an emphasis on research possibilities in this field.
Lecture 8: Rethinking migrant and refugee children
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.
Lecture 9, Part 1: The mental health of indigenous peoples
Laurence Kirmayer discusses the impacts of colonization on health, and identity, adaptation and the problem of suicide in indigenous populations.
Lecture 9, Part 2: The mental health of indigenous peoples
Laurence Kirmayer discusses the role cultural continuity plays in mental health. He also discusses resilience and the concept of the ecocentric self.
Lecture 10, Part 1: Healing, Ritual and Psychotherapy
Laurence Kirmayer looks at universal aspects of healing, healing traditions in different cultures and the role of emotion and catharsis in healing.
Lecture 10, Part 2: Healing, Ritual and Psychotherapy
Laurence Kirmayer discusses what is psychotherapy, psychotherapy as narrative processes, mode of narration, and cultural concepts of the person.
Lecture 11, Part 1: Models of Mental Health Services in Multicultural Societies
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.
Lecture 11, Part 2: Models of Mental Health Services in Multicultural Societies
A continuation of the discussion of the implications of cultural psychiatry for mental health services.
Lecture 12: The Future of Cultural Psychiatry
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?
This is terrific and will really help me prepare for my course on Culture and Mental Health this fall!
Hi Amy, That’s great. Not sure how you feel about this, but you might even be able to use some of the videos as assigned viewing for the course. Most of them are on the long side, but if you’re selective, some of them could probably be paired quite well with readings in this way.
Nice idea, thanks!