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The 7th CAPA Academic Communication Lecture held

NOV . 06 2017
Peking University, November 2, 2017: The 7th Academic Communication Lecture between Students’ Mental Health Education and Consulting Center, Peking University, and CAPA (The China American Psychoanalytic Alliance) was held at Room 407, Science Teaching Building of Peking University on October 27, 2017. The lecture was mainly delivered by Elise Synder, president of CAPA, who founded CAPA in 2001 to promote the growth of Chinese Counselors.

Elise delivered the lecture named “Consulting Ethics and Moral Norms”. She started from religious and individual moral norms. She indicated that moral norms to some degree derived from conscience at the conscious level and superego at the unconscious level. Besides, she discussed the issue of sex and its relations to morality. She pointed out that moral norms differ greatly from cultures and individuals and mentioned shame culture of oriental society and guilt culture of western society.


Elise then entered the ethnic issues related to professionals in mental consulting area. Chinese Psychological Society has the same mental consulting ethnical norms with America. Such norms are not based on regions, culture and religions, but on professions.

Elise emphasized the importance of accurate word choices in the process of psychotherapy and boundary between visitors and counselors. She claimed that to call clients “visitors” instead of “patients” was to encourage them to escape from their troubles.

The dialogues between Liu Haiye, Xu Kaiwen, and Elise discussed the ethnic issues and culture differences presented in the issue of “presents-giving”, challenges they faced as both mental counselors and moral education teachers in university, and sex issue and rights of sex in the process of counseling. Their dialogues stimulated a heated discussion between professionals.

Elise’s lecture on that afternoon focused on “cultural differences in the psychoanalysis”. She emphasized the importance of culture in the psychoanalytic therapy and the complexity of culture as a dynamic concept. She cited several cross-cultural examples in the psychoanalysis such as the statement—“male analysts cannot analyze us”—in the American feminist movement in the last century.

Elise mentioned that American cross-cultural theories mainly directed at African-Americans, and she worried that Asian-Americans could not distinguish and understand individuals well. Elise indicated that every individual had the potential to rebel against their cultural background, but Asian people paid more attention to their cultural traditions instead of cultural characteristics of the current age.

In addition, Elise discussed some cases with other counselors during the lecture. The 7th CAPA Academic Lecture ended up with great success.

Written by: Chen Guanlan
Edited by: Hu Rong