Culture & Clinic Rounds

Culture & Clinic Speaker Series 2021/2022


Date Speaker Title
November 24, 2022 Christian Desmarais, MD and Sarah Hanafi, MD Push and pull: Instrumentalising identity in the battle for individuation
April 29, 2021 Jeremy Holmes, MD, FRCPsych Evo-devo-psycho: attachment, cultural evolution and the free energy principle
April 15th, 2021 Alison Karasz, PhD Culture, situation and common mental disorder: a comparison of European-American and South Asian mother in the perinatal period
January 28, 2021 Mitchell Weiss, MD, PhD Harmonizing cultural psychiatry and social medicine in a clinical case formulation
January 14th, 2021 Janis Jenkins, PhD Troubled in the Land of Enchantment: Adolescent Experience of Psychiatric Treatment



Christian Desmarais and Sarah Hanafi


Christian Desmarais is a psychiatrist working with the first-episode psychosis program and the Polarisation team. His research activities aim at elaborating the representations of polarized political ideas at the collective and individual levels.

Sarah Hanafi is a fifth-year psychiatry resident at McGill University. She is interested in understanding the role of culture and identity in fostering resilience.



Jeremy Holmes


Although Bowlby was a committed evolutionist, he based his ideas to threat protection and the ‘stone age’ model of the human mind in the context of its original environment of evolutionary adaptation. I shall look at the implications for attachment theory of recent developments in evolutionary theory: kin and group selection, cultural evolution and the role of agency, and ‘universal Darwinism' as a Bayesean process in which Karl Friston’s Free Energy Principle applies. Although these ideas may seem far removed from the everyday world of the psychotherapist in the consulting room, I shall argue otherwise!


Professor Jeremy Holmes MD FRCPsych was for 35 years Consultant Psychiatrist/Medical Psychotherapist at University College London (UCL) and then in North Devon, UK, and Chair of the Psychotherapy Faculty of the Royal College of Psychiatrists 1998-2002. He is visiting Professor at the University of Exeter, and lectures nationally and internationally. In addition to 200+ peer-reviewed papers and chapters in the field of psychoanalysis and attachment theory, his books include John Bowlby and Attachment Theory, (2nd edition 2013), The Oxford Textbook of Psychotherapy (2005 co-editors Glen Gabbard and Judy Beck), Exploring In Security: Towards an Attachment-informed Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (2010, winner of Canadian Goethe Prize) , The Therapeutic Imagination: Using Literature to Deepen Psychodynamic Understanding and Enhance Empathy (2014), Attachment in Therapeutic Practice (2017, with A Slade), and The Brain Has a Mind of its Own: Attachment, Neurobiology and the New Science of Psychotherapy (2020). He was recipient of the Bowlby-Ainsworth Founders Award 2009. Gardening, Green politics and grand parenting are gradually eclipsing his lifetime devotion to psychoanalytic psychotherapy and attachment theory.



Alison Karasz

Alison Karasz is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Adjunct Clinical Professor in the Department of Family and Social Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.



Mitchell Weiss


Mitchell G. Weiss, MD, PhD, is a cultural psychiatrist, medical anthropologist, and health social science researcher. He trained in psychiatry and medical anthropology at Harvard Medical School from 1981 to 1985 and was subsequently appointed to the faculty of the HMS Department of Social Medicine as an assistant professor. In 1992, he moved to Toronto to join the Culture Community and Health Studies programme at the Clarke Institute, University of Toronto, where he also worked in the Department of Psychiatry at the Toronto Hospital. Pursuing interests in global health, he migrated in 1995 to the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (formerly Swiss Tropical Institute) and University of Basel and became professor and head of the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health. He is currently emeritus and residing in Switzerland.

Although much of his research has been in India, Dr. Weiss has also worked in Ghana, Kenya and other countries of South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. His research on the cultural epidemiology of mental health problems, suicide and infectious diseases has examined clinical issues, help-seeking practices and access to services in control programs for tuberculosis, leprosy, malaria, onchocerciasis and other neglected tropical diseases. Work on the health impact of stigma, a long-standing interest, led to development of an approach for integrating quantitative and qualitative methods for stigma studies in clinical and community settings. His research on vaccine acceptance and demand includes development of a multi-stakeholder framework to support vaccination programmes for influenza, HPV and cholera. A current project in cultural psychiatry involves testing a framework for clinical assessment and case formulation in Pune, India, which harmonizes convergent priorities of cultural psychiatry and social medicine.




Janis Jenkins


Dr. Janis Hunter Jenkins is a psychological/medical anthropologist with expertise on culture and mental health. She received her Ph.D. from UCLA and post-doctoral training at Harvard Medical School. She has taught on the faculty at Harvard University, Case Western Reserve University, and UC San Diego. At UC San Diego, Dr. Jenkins is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Psychiatry. She is also on faculty for the Global Health Program and Director of the Center for Global Mental Health at UC San Diego. Within the Department of Anthropology, Professor Janis Jenkins is a member of the Psychological/Medical Anthropology subfield. She is the President of the American Anthropological Association's Society for Psychological Anthropology.



Past Seminars

Clinic and Culture Seminars were held monthly with the Transcultural Psychiatry Team at the Montreal Children's Hospital.


Coming together:

reunification in a West Indian family

M. Lashley, Psychologist; C. Sterlin, Psychiatrist


A father's curse:

possession or psychosis in a Somali adolescent

Cécile Rousseau, Psychiatrist


Vivre a moitie quand on est

deux déracinement et grossesse.

Sylvaine de Plaen, Psychiatrist


The boy who wished to be Shiva

Jaswant Guzder, Psychiatrist


An overview of intercultural

approaches in psychiatry

C. Sterlin, Psychiatrist


Mémoire collective et espace individuel:

le recit d'une femme Rwandaise

Marian Shermake, Social Worker


Trauma, prositution et reunification famialiale

Deo Gratias Bagilishya, Psychologist; Marian Shermake, Social Worker


Psychotherapy with

a South Asian woman

Judy Malik, Social Worker


Boundary issues in

transcultural psychiatry

Jaswant Guzder, Psychiatrist


De l'art de se protéger avec un parapluie:

les alias d'une prise en charge d'un garçon

d'origine Vietnamienne, dont la mère est psychotique

Sylvaine De Plaen, Psychiatrist


La fattura ou l'autre visage d'une

dépression familiale

José Segura, Psychiatrist


When help can mean hurt: intervention

institutionnelle et violence familiale

Toby Measham, Psychiatrist; Deogratias Bagilishya, Psychologist;

Marian Shermarke, Social Worker


Religion, numerology and eating difficulties:

a precarious fusion

Radhika Santhanam, Psychologist; Cécile Rousseau, Psychiatrist


Religion as a Variable in Forced Treatment

Caminee Blake, Psychologist; Myrna Lashly, Psychologist


Transgressive Space

Radhika Santhanam, Psychologist; Déogratias Bagilishya, Psychologist


Ethos of the Wounded Healer

Laurence Kirmayer, Psychiatrist,

Discussant: Jaswant Guzder, Psychiatrist


Un Djinn Dans Mon Assiette (A Jinn on My plate)

Clinique de Psychiatrie Transculturelle
Départment de Psychiatrie
Hôpital Jean-Talon


Shifting Landscapes: Walking Through the Dreams of an Afghan Refugee

Sadeq Rahimi, Psychologist,
Discussant: Jaswant Guzder, Psychiatrist


Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: Questioning the Diagnosis and its Implication

Toby Measham, Psychiatrist,
Discussant: Caroline Tait, Anthropologist


New York and After: A Talking Circle

Multiple Perspectives in Dialogue


Suivi psychotherapeutique d'un enfant de 10 ans de
culture juive: Travailler les liens a partir de la peripherie et construire
des espaces de mediation

Sylvaine de Plaen, Psychiatrist
Discussant: TBA


The Borderline of Personality or Collective History?

Cecile Rousseau, Psychiatrist
Discussant: Lara Stern, Psychiatrist

Back to top