Jaswant Guzder – Internalization of race and difference: implications for psychotherapy in a diverse society (ASI 2014)

Racialized embodiment of ethnic difference has identity implications for visible minorities and may constitute a development line that runs parallel to that of gender identity with similar progression over the life cycle. Internalization of racialized identity and racism is a complex process that involves external agendas as well as intrapsychic realities. Yet the supervision of psychotherapists and family therapist rarely addresses countertransference or transference issues related to these realities. The social and political context of collectives and groups organizes resistance and openness to a discourse that allows these dimensions of identity to be discussed. This paper will elaborate through clinical examples of how these issues may present in therapy.

Natacha Premand – Black Sheep and Mass Immigration: The Use of Caricature in Rejection of the “Other” (ASI 2014)

In recent years, right-wing political parties in Switzerland have initiated several referenda on issues pertaining to the admission and residency of foreigners. In this paper, I will examine the ways in which the “other” is constructed in the political discourse of Switzerland’s Union Démocratique du Centre, one of the instigators of these referenda. I will argue that the image of foreigners in official discourse as important contributors to Swiss society and the economy is successfully undermined by their depiction by the right wing as “black sheep” – literally so in one controversial but effective advertising campaign. By also associating negative characteristics with particular ethnic groups, the right seeks to elicit fear and rejection. This contributes to establishing negative connotations with respect to all foreigners or minority groups, regardless of any explicit or specific voicing of concerns. In response to these campaigns, the United Nations’ Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has recommended that the Swiss Federal Commission on Racism be given more independence from government and be empowered to regulate the media and political
discourse. The paper attempts to better define the space created by these campaigns as a site of impact on the mental health of foreign populations and minority groups that has been neglected and is in need of urgent study.

Panel discussion on Diversity Advocacy, the proposed Charter of Quebec Values

“I understand there’s a legacy and a reasoning and a discourse that we are all aware of. I guess what is frightening is it is now a political power issue. It’s a fragile time and it’s done on the backs of the most vulnerable people in the population. To me that mobilizes a tremendous amount of anguish.” Jaswant Guzder

Speakers at the 50th anniversary event for the journal of Transcultural Psychiatry discuss diversity, advocacy and specifically address the proposed Charter of Quebec Values.

This video includes comments from Dr. Morton Weinfeld, Chair of Ethnic Studies, McGill; Dr. Jaswant Guzder, Head of Child Psychiatry, Jewish General Hospital; Dr. Eric Jarvis, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Cultural Consultation Service, McGill; Dr. Cécile Rousseau, Director of Transcultural Child Psychiatry Services, Montreal Children’s Hospital; Dr. Laurence Kirmayer, head of the Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry, McGill; and from members of the audience.

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