Saudades at the edge of the self and the merits of 'portable families'.

Department of Global and Community Health, College of Health and Human Services, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA.
Transcultural Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 0.99). 10/2008; 45(3):379-90. DOI: 10.1177/1363461508094672
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The treatment of a Mexican American patient who was referred due to hallucinations reveals a world of 'magic realism' that is far from infrequent in elderly people with a small and dwindling social network--especially if they come from cultures where the boundaries between the inner and the outer world are fuzzy. Respecting these traits allows for the development of treatment approaches that can evolve satisfactorily without disrupting the patient's inscription in this dual world.

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    ABSTRACT: Locked in a Classical paradigm, monological thinking found in most contemporary research denies the possibility of contradicting ideas existing simultaneously. Mikhail Bakhtin's dialogical ontology, however, supplies a new polylogical perspective with which to view language. When Bakhtin's dialogism is used to revisit the discourse of international exiles who have come to the United States of America, a more complex and sophisticated understanding of their lives and experiences emerges. Their contradictions, simultaneities, and conflicts are recognized, not as psychological flaws or illogical thinking, but as manifestations of the centripetal/centrifugal forces at work in their lives. Furthermore, a dialogical analysis of exile discourse has engendered the identification of four recurring dialectical motifs previously unrecognized by monological analysis.
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    ABSTRACT: Cross-cultural practice requires an active blend of "knowing" and "not knowing" in regard to specific family cultures, represent-ing an awareness of the risks of making cultural generalizations about behaviors that are idiosyncratic, and vice versa. The ways in which the unavoidable process of acculturation manifests itself in families are illustrated by a transcription and dis-cussion of an actual consultation that took place in Belgium with a family of Moroccan immigrants in which one of the sons refused to retain culturally mandated roles in a social milieu that required changes in the family mores. Multiple hallucinations re-ported by different family members further seemed to complicate the matter. The present discussion emphasizes family This article was developed on the hasis of a plenary presentation at the "CEFyP 20 Years" Congress, Bue-nos Aires, Argentina, October 2001, The title of this article, while pertinent per se to this family's story, has an added cultural resonance for the author. It evokes "Casa Tomada" ("House Taken Over"), a rather surreal short story by the Argentine writer Julio Cortazar (1985), with a minimalist plot: A per-haps retired brother and sister pair living together progressively restrict their living area, closing one door of their house after another almost without talk-ing about it, as rooms seem to become occupied by the (never seen) "others." identity and change and details the inter-viewer's own processing of information and decision making throughout the cul-ture-sensitive consultation.
    Families Systems & Health 01/2004; 22:321-337. · 1.74 Impact Factor