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Beyond the Psyche: Indigenous Psychology and Alternative Mental Health Care Through the Heart

March 03, 2023

This 2-day workshop explores the mental health model focused on the indigenous concept of the heart—xin in China and kokoro in Japan.

March 11 and 12, 2023

SFU Harbour Centre, Room 2250
Vancouver, BC

Presented by Simon Fraser University's Department of Sociology and Anthropology in collaboration with the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, the Department of History and the Office of the Provost and Vice-President Academic.

Register for in-person attendance or Zoom on Eventbrite

Visit the link to view the full schedule and abstracts.

This hybrid academic workshop aims to go beyond the model of mental health care based on the psyche by focusing on the indigenous concept of the heart—xin in China and kokoro in Japan. Xin is the Chinese term for both heart and mind and the origin of kokoro in Japan, and concepts of xin/kokoro suggest an interdependent self rather than individualism with well-defined personal boundary. We explore the possibility of focusing on xin/kokoro as the basis of an affective and aesthetic model of psychological care that challenges and goes beyond the predominant model of care based on Western biomedicine.

This workshop explores an understudied realm of “the heart”: its role in psychotherapeutic practices, and its potential as the basis for new affective and aesthetic models of care. In tracing the genealogy of xin and its aesthetic and affective orientation, we will open original research trajectories on mental health, subject formation, modes of governing populations using psychological tools, and responses by people seeking care. This approach prioritizes care based on prevention over treatment. If, in a xin-based care model, prevention is primary, 2 people’s perceptions of life and everyday actions constitute the most important realm for pursuing sanity and health: life itself becomes therapeutic.

NOTE: There are limited seats due to space availability.  A Zoom link is available upon registration at Eventbrite

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