Affiliated member of the WPA – World Psychiatric Association

Abstract Kallivayalil, Roy Abraham

Key Lecture
The influence of culture and acculturation on the practice of psychotherapy

Culture is a set of shared attitudes, values, goals and practices that characterizes an institution or organization; conventions, or social practices associated with a particular field, activity, or societal characteristic. Globalization and migration mark the rhythm and the tempo of the contemporary modern society. Continuous expansion of movement of people globally has brought about many exciting opportunities as well as unprecedented new challenges.  Psychotherapy and psychological interventions are practised across diverse cultural and health settings. Culture has always played an important role in the development of psyche, particularly superego.

The different schools of psychotherapy are useful in a management of a range of contents in dissimilar contexts, regions, and cultures. There is a need to integrate knowledge of the unique cultural and religious values and beliefs during assessments and planning of therapy. This is not only true for education related to psychotherapy but also for all therapist-patient interactions. The apparent contradictions between standard psychological therapies and their use across cultures, when viewed through a form-content framework allows for matching strategies for specific individuals and their distress and for choosing the best treatment options from a diverse therapeutic armamentarium.


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  • Bhargava R, Kumar N, Gupta A. Indian Perspective on Psychotherapy: Cultural Issues. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy 2016(2):1-9

DOI: 10.1007/s10879-016-9348-1

Prof Roy Abraham Kallivayalil
President, World Association of Social Psychiatry (2016-19)
Secretary General, World Psychiatric Association
Professor & Head, Dept of Psychiatry
Pushpagiri Institute of Medical Sciences,
Tiruvalla, Kerala – 689 101, India



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