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Laurence J. Kirmayer, MD


Laurence J. Kirmayer, MDLaurence J. Kirmayer, M.D., FRCPC, is James McGill Professor and Director, Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University. He is Editor-in-Chief of Transcultural Psychiatry, and Director of the Culture & Mental Health Research Unit at the Institute of Community and Family Psychiatry, Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, where he conducts research on mental health services for immigrants and refugees, psychiatry in primary care, the mental health of indigenous peoples (First Nations, Inuit and Métis), and the anthropology of psychiatry. He founded and directs the annual Summer Program and Advanced Study Institute in Cultural Psychiatry at McGill. He also founded and directs the Network for Aboriginal Mental Health Research. His past research includes studies on cultural consultation, pathways and barriers to mental health care for immigrants and refugees, somatization in primary care, cultural concepts of mental health and illness in Inuit communities, risk and protective factors for suicide among Inuit youth, and resilience among Indigenous peoples. Current projects include: culturally based, family centered mental health promotion for Aboriginal youth; development of a web-based multicultural mental health resource centre; and the use of the cultural formulation in cultural consultation. He co-edited the volumes, Current Concepts of Somatization (American Psychiatric Press), Understanding Trauma: Integrating Biological, Clinical, and Cultural Perspectives (Cambridge University Press), and Healing Traditions: The Mental Health of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada (University of British Columbia Press). He is Chair of the Section of Transcultural Psychiatry of the Canadian Psychiatric Association. He has received a CIHR senior investigator award, a presidential commendation for dedication in advancing cultural psychiatry from the Canadian Psychiatric Association, and both the Creative Scholarship and Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Society for the Study of Psychiatry and Culture.

laurence [dot] kirmayer [at] mcgill [dot] ca (email) website


Selected Articles

Kirmayer, L. J., & Ban, L. (2013). Cultural psychiatry: research strategies and future directions. Adv Psychosom Med, 33, 97-114.

Kirmayer, L. J., Raikhel, E., & Rahimi, S. (2013). Cultures of the Internet: identity, community and mental health. Transcult Psychiatry, 50(2), 165-191.

Kirmayer, L. J., Fung, K., Rousseau, C., Lo, H. T., Menzies, P., Guzder, J., Ganesan, S., Andermann, L., & McKenzie, K. (2012). Guidelines for training in cultural psychiatry. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 57(3), Insert 1-16.

Kirmayer, L. J. (2012). Changing patterns in suicide among young people. CMAJ, 184(9).

Kirmayer, L. J. (2012). Rethinking cultural competence. Transcult Psychiatry, 49(2), 149-164.

Dinh, M. H., Groleau, D., Kirmayer, L. J., Rodriguez, C., & Bibeau, G. (2012). Influence of the DSM-IV Outline for Cultural Formulation on multidisciplinary case conferences in mental health. Anthropology & Medicine, 19(2), 261-276.

Kirmayer, L. J. (2012). Cultural competence and evidence-based practice in mental health: Epistemic communities and the politics of pluralism. Soc Sci Med, 75, 249-256.

Adeponle, A. B., Thombs, B. D., Groleau, D., Jarvis, E., & Kirmayer, L. J. (2012). Using the cultural formulation to resolve uncertainty in diagnoses of psychosis among ethnoculturally diverse patients. Psychiatric Services, 63(2), 147-153.

Kirmayer, L. J., Narasiah, L., Muniz, M., Rashid, M., Ryder, A., Guzder, J., et al. (2011). Common mental health problems in immigrants and refugees: General approach to the patient in primary care. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 183(12).

Kirmayer, L. J. (2011). Les politiques de l’altérité dans la rencontre clinique [The politics of alterity in the clinical encounter]. L'Autre: Cliniques, Cultures et Sociétés, 12(1), 16-29.

Kirmayer, L. J. (2011). Multicultural medicine and the politics of recognition. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, 36(410-463.

Kirmayer, L. J. (2011). Defining and delimiting trauma-related dissociation: a view from cultural psychiatry. Journal of trauma & dissociation, 12(4), 465-468.

Kirmayer, L. J., Dandeneau, S., Marshall, E., Phillips, M. K., & Williamson, K. J. (2011). Rethinking resilience from indigenous perspectives. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 56(2), 84-91.

Afana, A.-H., Pedersen, D., Rønsbo, H., & Kirmayer, L. J. (2010). "Endurance is to be shown at the first blow": Social representations and reactions to traumatic experiences in the Gaza strip. Traumatology, 16(4), 73-84.

Choudhury, S., Gold, I., & Kirmayer, L. J. (2010). From brain image to the Bush Doctrine: Critical neuroscience and the political uses of neurotechnology. American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience, 1(1), 17-19.

Dere, J., Ryder, A. G., & Kirmayer, L. J. (2010). Bidimensional measurement of acculturation in a multiethinic sample of first-generation immigrants. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 42(2), 134-138.

Groleau, D., Whitley, R., Lesperance, F., & Kirmayer, L. J. (2010). Spiritual reconfigurations of self after a myocardial infarction: Influence of culture and place. Health & Place, 16(5), 853-860.

Hickling, F. W., Guzder, J., Robertson-Hickling, H., Snow, S., & Kirmayer, L. J. (2010). Psychic centrality: reflections on two psychohistoriographic cultural therapy workshops in Montreal. Transcultural Psychiatry, 47(1), 136-158.

Kirmayer, L. J. (2010). Peace, conflict, and reconciliation: contributions of cultural psychiatry. Transcultural Psychiatry, 47(1), 5-19.

Lee, B. O., Kirmayer, L. J., & Groleau, D. (2010). Therapeutic Processes and Perceived Helpfulness of Dang-Ki (Chinese Shamanism) from the Symbolic Healing Perspective. Cultural Medicine & Psychiatry, 34(1), 56-105.

Mezzich, J. E., Salloum, I. M., Cloninger, C. R., Salvador-Carulla, L., Kirmayer, L. J., Banzato, C. E. M., et al. (2010). Person-centered Integrative Diagnosis: Conceptual basis and structural model. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 55(11), 701-708.

Pierre, A., Minn, P., Sterlin, C., Annoual, P. C., Jaimes, A., Raphaël, F., et al. (2010). Culture and Mental Health in Haiti: A Literature Review. Santé Mentale en Haïti, 1(1), 13-42.

Rousseau, C., & Kirmayer, L. J. (2010). From complicity to advocacy: the necessity of refugee research. American Journal of Bioethics, 10(2), 65-67.

Thombs, B. D., Adeponle, A. B., Kirmayer, L. J., & Morgan, J. F. (2010). A brief scale to assess hospital doctors' attitudes toward collaborative care for mental health. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 55(4), 264-267.

Tiessen, M., Taylor, D. M., & Kirmayer, L. J. (2010). A key individual-to-community link: The impact of perceived collective control on Aboriginal youth well-being. Pimatisiwin: A Journal of Indigenous and Aboriginal Community Health, 7(2), 241-267.

Choudhury, S., & Kirmayer, L. J. (2009). Cultural neuroscience and psychopathology: prospects for cultural psychiatry. Progress in Brain Research, 178, 261-281.

Kirmayer, L. J. (2009). Nightmares, Neurophenomenology and the Cultural Logic of Trauma. Cultural Medicine & Psychiatry, 33, 323-331.

Kirmayer, L. J., & Raikhel, E. (2009). From Amrita to substance D: psychopharmacology, political economy, and technologies of the self. Transcultural Psychiatry, 46(1), 5-15.

Mezzich, J. E., Caracci, G., Fabrega, H., Jr., & Kirmayer, L. J. (2009). Cultural formulation guidelines. Transcultural Psychiatry, 46(3), 383-405.

Kirmayer, L. J. (2008). Empathy and alterity in cultural psychiatry. Ethos, 36(4), 457-474.

Kirmayer, L. J. (2008). Culture and the metaphoric mediation of pain. Transcultural Psychiatry, 45(2), 318-338.

Kirmayer, L. J., Rousseau, C., Corin, E., & Groleau, D. (2008). Training researchers in cultural psychiatry: The McGill-CIHR Strategic Training Program. Academic Psychiatry, 32(4), 320-326.

Kirmayer, L. J., Rousseau, C., Guzder, J., & Jarvis, G. E. (2008). Training clinicians in cultural psychiatry: A Canadian perspective. Academic Psychiatry, 32(4), 313-319.

Kirmayer, L. J., Thombs, B. D., Jurcik, T., Jarvis, G. E., & Guzder, J. (2008). Use of an expanded version of the DSM-IV outline for cultural formulation on a cultural consultation service. Psychiatric Services, 59(6), 683-686.

Seligman, R., & Kirmayer, L. J. (2008). Dissociative experience and cultural neuroscience: narrative, metaphor and mechanism. Cultural Medicine & Psychiatry, 32(1), 31-64.

Kirmayer, L. J. (2007). Psychotherapy and the cultural concept of the person. Transcultural Psychiatry, 44(2), 232-257.

Kirmayer, L. J. (2007). Celan's poetics of alterity: Lyric and the understanding of illness experience in medical ethics. Monash Bioethics Review, 26(4), 21-35.

Kirmayer, L. J., Rousseau, C., & Lashley, M. (2007). The place of culture in forensic psychiatry. Journal of American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 35(1), 98-102.

Kirmayer, L. J., & Sartorius, N. (2007). Cultural models and somatic syndromes. Psychosomatic Medicine, 69(9), 832-840.

Kirmayer, L. J., Weinfeld, M., Burgos, G., du Fort, G. G., Lasry, J. C., & Young, A. (2007). Use of health care services for psychological distress by immigrants in an urban multicultural milieu. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 52(5), 295-304.

Groleau, D., Young, A., & Kirmayer, L. J. (2006). The McGill Illness Narrative Interview (MINI): an interview schedule to elicit meanings and modes of reasoning related to illness experience. Transcultural Psychiatry, 43(4), 671-691.

Kirmayer, L. J. (2006). Beyond the 'new cross-cultural psychiatry': cultural biology, discursive psychology and the ironies of globalization. Transcultural Psychiatry, 43(1), 126-144.

Kirmayer, L. J. (2006). Toward a medicine of the imagination. New Literary History, 37(3), 583-605.

Miresco, M. J., & Kirmayer, L. J. (2006). The persistence of mind-brain dualism in psychiatric reasoning about clinical scenarios. American Journal of Psychiatry, 163(5), 913-918.

Kirmayer, L. J. (2005). Culture, context and experience in psychiatric diagnosis. Psychopathology, 38(4), 192-196.

Mayou, R., Kirmayer, L. J., Simon, G., Kroenke, K., & Sharpe, M. (2005). Somatoform disorders: time for a new approach in DSM-V. American Journal of Psychiatry, 162(5), 847-855.


Selected Books and Chapters

Kirmayer, L. J. (2014). Medicines of the Imagination: Cultural Phenomenology, Medical Pluralism and the Persistence of Mind-Body Dualism. In H. Naraindas, J. Quack & W. S. Sax (Eds.), Asymmetrical Conversations: Contestations, Circumventions and the Blurring of Therapeutic Boundaries (pp. 26-55). Oxford: Berghahn Books.

Kirmayer, L. J., Guzder, J., & Rousseau, C. (Eds.). (2014). Cultural Consultation: Encountering the Other in Mental Health Care. New York: Springer.

Kirmayer, L.J., Rousseau, C., Jarvis, G.E. & Guzder, J. (2014). The cultural context of clinical assessment. In: Tasman, A., & Kay. J. (Eds.) The Psychiatric Interview: Evaluation and Diagnosis, (pp. 47-63), New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Kirmayer, L. J., & Ban, L. (2013). Cultural psychiatry: research strategies and future directions. Adv Psychosom Med, 33, 97-114. doi: 10.1159/000348742

Kirmayer, L. J., & Swartz, L. (2013). Culture and global mental health. In V. Patel, M. Prince, A. Cohen & H. Minas (Eds.), Global Mental Health: Principles and Practice. New York: Oxford University Press.

Kirmayer, L. J., & Gold, I. (2012). Re-socializing psychiatry: Critical neuroscience and the limits of reductionism. In S. Choudhury & J. Slaby (Eds.), Critical Neuroscience: A Handbook of the Social and Cultural Contexts of Neuroscience. Oxford: Blackwell.

Kirmayer, L. J., Dandeneau, S., Marshall, E., Phillips, M. K., & Williamson, K. J. (2012). Toward an ecology of stories: Indigenous perspectives on resilience. In M. Ungar (Ed.), The Social Ecology of Resilience (pp. 399-414). New York: Springer.

Kirmayer, L. J. (2012). Culture and context in human rights. In M. Dudley, D. Silove & F. Gale (Eds.), Mental Health and Human Rights: Vision, Praxis and Courage (pp. 95-112). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kirmayer, L. J. (2012). The future of critical neuroscience. In S. Choudhury & J. Slaby (Eds.), Critical Neuroscience: A Handbook of the Social and Cultural Contexts of Neuroscience (pp. 367-383). Oxford: Blackwell.

Adeponle, A. B., Whitley, R., & Kirmayer, L. J. (2012). Cultural contexts and constructions of recovery. In A. Rudnick (Ed.), Recovery of People with Mental Illness: Philosophical and Related Perspectives (pp. 109-132). New York: Oxford University Press.

Kirmayer, L. J. (2012). Culture and context in human rights. In M. Dudley, D. Silove & F. Gale (Eds.), Mental Health and Human Rights: Vision, Praxis and Courage (pp. 109-126). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kirmayer, L. J. (2012). The future of critical neuroscience. In S. Choudhury & J. Slaby (Eds.), Critical Neuroscience: A Handbook of the Social and Cultural Contexts of Neuroscience (pp. 367-383). Oxford: Blackwell.

Kirmayer, L. J., Dandeneau, S., Marshall, E., Phillips, M. K., & Williamson, K. J. (2012). Toward an ecology of stories: Indigenous perspectives on resilience. . In M. Ungar (Ed.), The Social Ecology of Resilience (pp. 399-414). New York: Springer.

Kirmayer, L. J., & Gold, I. (2012). Re-socializing psychiatry: Critical neuroscience and the limits of reductionism. In S. Choudhury & J. Slaby (Eds.), Critical Neuroscience: A Handbook of the Social and Cultural Contexts of Neuroscience. Oxford: Blackwell.

Williamson, K. J., & Kirmayer, L. J. (2010). Inuit ways of knowing: Cosmocentrism and the role of teasing in childrearing. In C. Worthman, P. Plotsky, D. S. Schechter & C. Cummings (Eds.), Formative Experiences: The Interaction of Caregiving, Culture, and Developmental Psychobiology (pp. 299-307). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Kirmayer, L. J., Rousseau, C., & Measham, T. (2010). Sociocultural considerations. In D. Benedek & G. H. Wynn (Eds.), Clinical Manual for the Management of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Washington: American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc.

Kirmayer, L. J., Kienzler, H., Afana, A. H., & Pedersen, D. (2010). Trauma and disasters in social and cultural context. In D. Bhugra & C. Morgan (Eds.), Principles of Social Psychiatry (2 ed., pp. 155-177). New York: Wiley-Blackwell.

Gone, J. P., & Kirmayer, L. J. (2010). On the wisdom of considering culture and context in psychopathology. In T. Millon, R. F. Krueger & E. Simonsen (Eds.), Contemporary Directions in Psychopathology: Scientific Foundations of the DSM-V and ICD-11 (pp. 72-96). New York: Guilford.

Kirmayer, L. J., & Sartorius, N. (2009). Cultural models and somatic syndromes. In J. E. Dimsdale, V. Patel, Y. Xin, A. Kleinman, P. J. Sirovatka & D. A. Regier (Eds.), Somatic Presentations of Mental Disorders: Refining the Research Agenda for DSM-V (pp. 23-46). Washington: American Psychiatric Press.

Kirmayer, L. J., & Blake, C. (2009). Theoretical perspectives on the cross-cultural study of panic disorder. In D. Hinton & B. J. Good (Eds.), Culture and Panic Disorder (pp. 35-56). Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Kirmayer, L. J., & Bhugra, D. (2009). Culture and mental illness: social context and explanatory models. In I. M. Salloum & J. E. Mezzich (Eds.), Psychiatric Diagnosis: Patterns and Prospects (pp. 29-37). New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Kirmayer, L. J., Rousseau, C., Jarvis, G. E., & Guzder, J. (2008). The cultural context of clinical assessment. In A. Tasman, M. Maj, M. B. First, J. Kay & J. Lieberman (Eds.), Psychiatry (3 ed., pp. 54-66). New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Kirmayer, L. J., & Valaskakis, G. G. (Eds.). (2008). Healing Traditions: The Mental Health of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.

Kirmayer, L. J. (2007). Cultural psychiatry in historical perspective. In D. Bhugra & K. Bhui (Eds.), Textbook of Cultural Psychiatry (pp. 3-19). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Kirmayer, L. J. (2007). Failures of imagination: The refugee's predicament. In L. J. Kirmayer, R. Lemelson & M. Barad (Eds.), Understanding Trauma: Biological, Psychological and Cultural Perspectives (pp. 363-381). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Kirmayer, L. J. (2007). Foreword. In B. Drozdek & J. P. Wilson (Eds.), Voices of Trauma: Treating Psychological Trauma Across Cultures (pp. v-vii). New York: Springer.

Kirmayer, L. J. (2007). On the cultural mediation of pain. In K. Shelemay & S. Coakley (Eds.), Pain and Its Transformations: The Interface of Biology and Culture (pp. 363-401). Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Kirmayer, L. J., Brass, G. M., Holton, T. L., Paul, K., Simpson, C., & Tait, C. L. (2007). Suicide Among Aboriginal Peoples in Canada. Ottawa: Aboriginal Healing Foundation.

Kirmayer, L. J., Burgos, G., Ryder, A., Thombs, B. D., Zelkowitz, P., Narasiah, L., et al. (2007). Clinical guidelines for primary care prevention and treatment of depression among immigrants and refugees in Canada: Background paper for the Public Health Agency of Canada. Montreal: Culture and Mental Health Research Unit.

Kirmayer, L. J., Lemelson, R., & Barad, M. (2007). Introduction: Inscribing trauma in culture, brain, and body. In L. J. Kirmayer, R. Lemelson & M. Barad (Eds.), Understanding Trauma: Biological, Psychological and Cultural Perspectives (pp. 1-20). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Kirmayer, L. J., Lemelson, R., & Barad, M. (2007). Epilogue: Trauma and the vicissitudes of interdisciplinary integration. In L. J. Kirmayer, R. Lemelson & M. Barad (Eds.), Understanding Trauma: Biological, Psychological and Cultural Perspectives (pp. 475-489). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Kirmayer, L. J., Lemelson, R., & Barad, M. (Eds.). (2007). Understanding trauma: Integrating biological, clinical, and cultural perspectives. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Kirmayer, L. J., & Looper, K. J. (2007). Somatoform disorders. In M. Hersen, S. Turner & D. Beidel (Eds.), Adult Psychopathology. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Kirmayer, L. J., & Paul, K. (2007). Mental health and social support. In E. Dewailly (Ed.), Inuit Health Survey. Quebec: Nassivik.

Kirmayer, L. J., & Jarvis, G. E. (2005). Depression across cultures. In D. Stein, A. Schatzberg & D. Kupfer (Eds.), Textbook of Mood Disorders (pp. 611-629). Washington: American Psychiatric Press.

Kirmayer, L. J. (2004). The sound of one hand clapping: Listening to Prozac in Japan. In C. Elliott & T. Chambers (Eds.), Prozac as a Way of Life. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press (pp. 164-193).

Kirmayer, L. J., Corin, E., & Jarvis, G. E. (2004). Inside knowledge: Cultural constructions of insight in psychosis. In X. F. Amador & A. S. David (Eds.), Insight in Psychosis 2nd Ed. New York: Oxford University Press (pp. 197-229).

Kirmayer, L. J. (2003). Reflections on embodiment. In J. Wilce (ed.), Social Lives of Immune Systems. New York: Routledge.

Kirmayer, L. J., Boothroyd, L. J., Tanner, A., Adelson, N., Robinson, E., & Oblin, C. (2003). Psychological distress among the Cree of James Bay. In P. Boss (Ed.), Family Stress: Classic and Contemporary Readings. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage(pp. 249-264).

Kirmayer, L. J., Looper, K. J., & Taillefer, S. (2003). Somatoform disorders. In S. Turner & M. Hersen (Eds.), Adult Psychopathology 4th Ed . New York: John Wiley & Sons (pp. 420-475).

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