Mental Slavery: Psychoanalytic Studies of Caribbean People

Author(s) : Barbara Fletchman Smith

Mental Slavery: Psychoanalytic Studies of Caribbean People

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Also by Barbara Fletchman Smith

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Mental Slavery is a unique and timely contribution to the field of trans-cultural psychoanalysis, casting light on an area previously neglected within mainstream psychoanalytic writing.

Barbara Fletchman Smith examines the complex effects of the experience of slavery and its impact on generations of Caribbean people, with particular reference to families who have settled in the UK. She brings many subtle insights to a fascinating subject, drawing on her detailed knowledge of many Caribbean cultures, both past and present.

Through vivid examples from her clinical practice, Fletchman Smith argues for a much wider perspective on the issues presented by Caribbean patients, and the role played in these by the historical past. Misunderstanding of Caribbean patients which, formerly, had been blamed on racist attitudes on the part of the therapist, is here revealed in a new light. Although the author does not deny that racist attitudes exist, throughout her book she presents a powerful case for a more discerning approach to both the negative and positive aspects of the Caribbean experience.

This is a must for trainees, clinicians and all who have an interest in psychoanalysis and cultural studies.

Reviews and Endorsements

'I believe this book will in a short period of time become a classic, included in the reading list of many psychotherapy training institutes…Like a child with his own box of chocolates I would read a passage of her text and sit back savouring it, before moving on to the next exciting bit.'
- Lennox K. Thomas

'Her carefully selected case studies illustrate the difficulty of working with clients with such deep-seated problems.'
- Elaine Arnold

'Her book…will prove liberating in its own right.'
- Christopher Bollas

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