Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


Towards Transcultural Histories of Psychotherapies

10:30 am to 5:45 pm, 15 October 2016

Towards Transcultural Histories of Psychotherapies

Event Information

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IAS Common Ground, Ground Floor, South Wing, Wilkins Building

The UCL Health Humanities Centre and the Institute of Advanced Studies are pleased to announce this one-day international conference, Towards Transcultural Histories of Psychotherapies.

Suspended between science, medicine, religion, art and philosophy, the advent of modern psychotherapies represents one of the distinctive features of 20th-century Western societies, and they are increasing being exported to the rest of the world. However, their historical study glaringly lags behind their societal impact and the role they play in contemporary mental health policies. In recent years, a small but significant body of work has arisen studying histories of psychotherapies in discrete local contexts throughout the world, which is expanding and reframing our knowledge of them. However, little has been done to draw this work together within a comparative setting, and to chart the intersection of these connected histories and transcultural networks of exchange of knowledge and healing practices. This conference takes up these questions, through drawing together scholars working on histories of psychotherapies in Brazil, Europe, Japan, the UK and the US.


  • 10.30-11.00 am: Registration/coffee
  • 11.00-11.15 am: Professor Sonu Shamdasani (chair) (UCL) Introduction
  • 11.15-12.00 noon: Dr Gavin Miller (University of Glasgow) Miracles of Healing: Scottish Psychotherapy
  • 12.00-12.45pm: Dr Rachael Rosner (Independent Scholar, Boston, USA) Charting Virtues in Philadelphia: The Enlightenment Journey of Aaron T. Beck's Cognitive Therapy
  • 12.45-2.15 pm: Lunch
  • 2.15-3.00 pm: Professor Cristiana Facchinetti (Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) Civilizing the Brazilian People through Psychotherapeutics: the case of the Brazilian League of Mental Hygiene (1921-1945)
  • 3.00-3.45 pm: Dr Sarah Marks (Birkbeck College) Therapeutic dissidence? Legacies of psychoanalysis and phenomenology in Cold War Czechoslovakia
  • 3.45-4.15 pm: Tea
  • 4.15-5.00 pm: Professor Akihito Suzuki (Keio University, Tokyo, Japan) Family, Hospital and Psychotherapies: Cases from Tokyo in the Early Twentieth Century
  • 5.00-5.45 pm: Dr Christopher Harding (University of Glasgow) Buddhism, Christianity, and Psychotherapy: A Three-Way Conversation in the Mid-Twentieth Century

Sponsored by the UCL Global Engagement Office

Please register here: http://ucltranshistpsych.eventbrite.co.uk

Tickets: £30; Registered Students (bring proof of ID) £20; UCL staff/student (with UCL ID) free.

Image: Statue of Abbé Faria magnetising a woman in Panjim, Goa, India