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APAXXX10.1177/0003065115590420Hao Chung HsuBrief Commentary from Taiwan

ja Pa

Hao Chung Hsu


Brief Commentary from Taiwan

iego Busiols paper points out some interesting phenomena in the

three Chinese cultural areas he addresses, including the rising
popularity of psychoanalysisthe so-called psycho-boomin Mainland
China and the minority status of psychoanalysis in Hong Kongs pluralistic counseling field. Regarding Taiwan, however, I think the author,
perhaps due to geographical distance or less familiarity, has not provided
an adequately in-depth picture of our different developmental path.
In Taiwan, the independent psychoanalytic movement developed
gradually and with difficulty, through the efforts of generations of individual psychiatrists and psychologists over the past forty years. The most
striking characteristics of this movement in Taiwan are the spontaneity
and diversity of those involved. Here we have had individuals interested
in psychoanalysis contributing to this movement in various ways. Forty
years ago, the first generation translated important works by Freud, Jung,
Adler, and Erich Fromm. This period was followed by a time when psychiatrists and mental health workers began undertaking psychoanalytic
study and training abroadin the United States, England, and France.
Currently there is one study group / psychoanalytic association in Taiwan,
and work is proceeding toward the realization of an independent psychoanalytic training center.
It is important, therefore, to stress that the development of psychoanalysis has taken different forms in Hong Kong, Mainland China, and
Taiwan. It is the culmination of many different factorspeople, culture,
leadership, social structures, these have played out in the three
areas. There is no single crucial factor that determines the outlook of such
a large social movement. Moreover, psychoanalysis is not simply a psychological methodology; it is a new way of viewing life, a new relationship between self and other, and self and the world. Consequently, one

Private practice of psychiatry, Taipei; senior candidate, Chicago Institute for

DOI: 10.1177/0003065115590420
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Hao Chung Hsu

must avoid oversimplified characterizations about the Chinese culture,

such as talking less is better. If such a tendency in fact exists, it is likely
influenced by factors more sociopolitical than cultural. After all, there
have been times when one could find a similar attitude toward talking in
English, as in Speech is silver, silence is golden.
I have one final reflection on this paper. It may be true that there are
many psychoanalytic priests coming to China, but that is but one aspect
of the global interest in this new world, increasingly visited by diverse
people and professionals. Thus, a transient chaos and some confusion, or
even overidealization, may be inevitable in such a period of radical
change. In my view, to concentrate on the integration of what is new with
what is native is more important than trying to identify who is the leader
or who the colonist. Eventually, if psychoanalysis is to flourish in China
or Hong Kong or Taiwan, it must be lived out and engaged in by the
people of these lands. In time we will see what forms psychoanalysis will
take in this vast area. For now, we must work together, while following
our own paths as well.


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