Cultural identity formation is a complex and layered process that involves intrapsychic, interpersonal, and sociocultural understandings of individuals and communities. Individuals experience both choice and constraint in the development of cultural identity, and this process is fluid and dynamic throughout the lifespan. This lecture focuses on addressing the complexity of cultural identity formation within the confines of social oppression and trauma, and within open spaces of exploration both within and outside of the therapeutic relationship. The lecture will provide a lens into the patient’s and therapist’s dilemmas of facing choice and constraint in identity and relationship.
Usha Tummala-Narra, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in Counseling, Developmental and Educational Psychology at Boston College, and in Independent Practice in Cambridge, MA. Her research and scholarship concerns immigration, race, gender, mental health, and cultural competence in psychotherapy practice. She has served on the American Psychological Association Division 39 Board of Directors, the APA Presidential Task Force on Immigration, and the APA Task Force on Re-envisioning the Multicultural Guidelines in the 21st Century. She is the author of Psychoanalytic Theory and Cultural Competence in Psychotherapy, published by American Psychological Association Books in 2016.