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Psychoanalysis On and Off the Couch

Aug 9, 2020

"The schools of thought differed very strongly. The Calcutta school primarily belonged to the classical Freudian school of thought whereas Bombay worked from a very structured Tavistock model which they have been following for a very long time. In Dehli we find the Ericksonian model. These cites developed these models as a result of their connection to different parts of the world."


Description: Dr.Harvey Schwartz welcomes Dr. Jhuma Basak, who is a training and supervising psychoanalyst at the Indian Psychoanalytic Society in Calcutta where she lives and works. Dr. Basak is an active member of the IPA’s Committee on Women and Psychoanalysis and is a consulting member of the IPA’s humanitarian committee. Her areas of interest in psychoanalysis are culture, women, and gender. Dr. Basak has widely published and has been translated into many languages.


In today’s episode Dr. Basak describes two transformations, one that is cultural and another that is internal - both are related to changing from an authoritative position that uses certainty and morality to deal with conflict, to one that attends to the inner ambiguous life both of the analysand as well as that of the analyst.


Key takeaways:

[4:40] Life before and after COVID in Calcutta.

[8:33] The lockdown in Calcutta is contradictory at times.

[9:58] Dr. Basak talks about psychoanalytic life in Calcutta.

[15:08] Dr. Basak explains how the psychoanalytic field in India shifted from being mostly dominated by men in its origins, to recent times where women have gained interest and expertise in the Indian psychoanalytic community.

[19:26] Clinical work has been shifted gradually to women.

[20:37] A critical and challenging position for female Indian Psychoanalysts.

[21:31] Dr. Basak shares some clinical material.

[26:58] Dr. Basak talks about her perspective regarding countertransference.

[28:00] Dr. Basak shares her experience as a spokesperson and the vulnerability that comes along with this role.

[29:46] “We are too comfortable in authoritarian positions, they give us certainty.”


Mentioned in this episode:

IPA Off the Couch