The 2020 I. H. Cohn Lecture

The Couch Meets the Dragon: 

Emerging Psychoanalytic Training in Modern-Day China

with Thomas Campbell, MD

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Date: Friday, March 6, 2020

Time:  7:00 p.m.

Location: At the Institute

Fee: $25 (Non-refundable)


In 1929, Freud wrote to the ex-Minister of Education of China (Zhang Shizhao):
“I am pleased by your intention, in whatever manner you care to carry
out…(to) introduce psychoanalysis to your native country, China.”


The study and practice of psychoanalysis has extended its reach from its birthplace in Europe, across the Americas, Canada, Australia, Africa, the Middle East,  and is now entering China through the Chinese-American Psychoanalytic Alliance (CAPA).  Institute Faculty Member Thomas Campbell, MD, a psychoanalyst based in Nashville, will share his first-hand experiences in how American psychoanalysts are reaching into China to train, and supervise, a new generation of psychoanalytically informed psychotherapists who will be able to practice in China.


Among young Chinese mental health professionals and their teachers, interest in psychoanalysis is extraordinarily high. While they read widely about analysis, their clinical knowledge lags, limited by access to Western clinicians who speak Mandarin. Various groups of Western analysts have visited China to offer lectures and brief supervisions. Since 1982, a group of German analysts have visited Shanghai, Beijing and other cities for five-day periods each year during which they lecture and offer “self-experience” sessions. What has been sorely lacking is organized intensive treatment or training. This is the gap that CAPA is attempting to fill.

In this fascinating evening, Dr. Campbell will describe the development and experience of CAPA in China from the perspective of a clinical supervisor.  As a result of his personal experience as a supervisor, he has become increasingly involved in working with Chinese psychotherapy students.  He will share the collective experience of teaching and providing supervision in China, including understanding the subtle cultural issues involved, and he will also present a systems perspective on how to administer a rapidly growing and evolving organization.
This will definitely be an out-of-the-ordinary eveningCAPA represents a unique opportunity for the future of psychoanalysis in a country of 1.4 billion people, as it evolves in its unique, and Chinese way.

The I.H. Cohn, MD Lecture was established in 2004 by Thomas and Sally Cohn to honor Mr. Cohn’s father, Isadore H. Cohn, MD. Dr. Cohn was one of the innovators of adolescent and group psychotherapy in New York.