The past thirty years have witnessed an unprecedented surge in international students in the United States. University counseling services and private practitioners are inundated with requests and referrals of Chinese students. What should we know about these youngsters, some of whom are negotiating the first, the second, and the third “individuation” all at once, and who expect technology to deliver everything they need, including psychotherapy, to their laptops? What often baffles us is not only these students’ adjustment difficulties or cultural shocks, but where to place them developmentally. Are they just regressed in the face of adjustment challenges, or have they actually achieved the ego function and personality structure we expect in someone at the beginning of college or a Ph.D. program? When we are treating an affectively and behaviorally dis-regulated freshman or a Ph.D. student, are we looking at an Axis II presentation or late adolescent or younger adult playing catching up developmentally, and in a foreign country? And how do we assess risk, when we hear their despairing wishes “to disappear” and “to be dead”? This presentation will use a psychodynamic stance and a biopsychosocial model to discuss and dialogue on how to understand the developmental challenges of these students, and to conceptualize our therapeutic framework, particularly in regard to attachment, attachment trauma and adaptation cross-culturally, in today’s globalized era.
1. To assess the developmental challenges of today’s international students and/or first generation immigrant students of Asian origin in culturally as well as dynamically determined contexts.
2. To discuss the critical role of the attachment history and related clinical challenges in therapeutic intervention (including risk management), skill building and growth promotion in this particular college population.
3. To propose culturally informed community-based support and intervention for international students and first generation immigrant students
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Allen, J., Fonagy, P., & Bateman, A. (2008). Mentalizing in clinical practice. Arlington,. VA: American Psychiatric Association.
E. Goldberg. (2009). The New Executive Brain: Frontal Lobes in a Complex World. New York: Oxford University Press.
Date(s) - February 5, 2020
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Central Congregational Church
296 Angell Street (Diman Street entrance)
Providence, Rhode Island 02906
Online bookings are not available for this event.