Conference: Towards Transcultural Histories of Psychotherapies, London (UCL)

Towards Transcultural Histories of Psychotherapies: A One day International Conference

Location: UCL Health Humanities Centre / Institute of Advanced Studies

Date: 15 October 2016

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 – 11.00am Registration/coffee

11.00 – 11.15am Professor Sonu Shamdasani (chair) (UCL) Introduction

11.15 – 12.00pm 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 – 2.15pm Lunch

2.15 – 3.00pm 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 – 3.45pm Dr. Sarah Marks (Birkbeck College) Therapeutic dissidence? Legacies of psychoanalysis and phenomenology in Cold War Czechoslovakia

3.45 – 4.15pm Tea/coffee

4.15 – 5.00pm Professor Akihito Suzuki (Keio University, Tokyo, Japan) Family, Hospital and Psychotherapies: Cases from Tokyo in the Early Twentieth Century

5.00 – 5.45pm Dr. Christopher Harding (University of Glasgow) Buddhism, Christianity, and Psychotherapy: A Three-Way Conversation in the Mid-Twentieth Century


Location: Institute of Advanced Studies, Common Ground, Ground Floor, South Wing, Wilkins Building, UCL, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT.

Register at

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

Sponsored by the UCL Global Engagement Office.

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