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Culture Constructs

In this concluding section, I shall attempt to draw constructs about the culture from the diffuse and limited data which patients provide about it. The foci of my discussion are suggested by the remarks of the patients themselves.

It appears that changes in the social and cultural scene have forced previous existing and tolerated ambivalence to a head, forcing confrontation and a start towards resolution. The “trouble spots” which clamor for decisions to be made on the basis of both value choice and psychological reality are the following areas:

Filipino Behavior And Personality

It is a finding of all workers that the Filipino exhibits polarities in his behavior and personality. Of these contrasts, he is mostly unaware. The inconsistencies escape him; he has learned to live with them and feels no inner discord over them.

Some of these diametrically opposite states are the following (Bulatao 1963; Guthrie 1961; Hollnsteiner 1963; Lynch 1964; Sechresr 1967a):

1. Emphasis on smooth interpersonal relations vs. high levels of hostility.

2. “Hiya” vs. predilection for status and rank, tendencies to extravagance and boastfulness.

Culture And Conflict

The currents and movements during the past decade in investigations of etiologic factors in deviant thought and behavior have been lively in both organic and psychological directions. The investigation of biochemical and neurophysiologic factors derives its renewed vigor from recent advances in psychopharmacology, biogenetics, and the neuro-physiology of perception and cognition. The psychological picture is enriched by analysis of the patients socio-cultural milieu. It is hoped that linkages between the two approaches will eventually emerge to provide more definitive and holistic clues to the riddles of psychiatric illness.

Studies On Personality And Personality Problems

In the Philippines, where social and cultural changes are occurring rapidly, the need for culture studies to help equip the psychiatrist with tools to understand his patient becomes even more urgent. The Filipino psychiatrist, inescapably made aware by his patients of these cultural idiosyncrasies, acknowledges a debt to scholars in the behavioral sciences who have done most of the formal writing about Filipino values, practices, and social patterns of interaction. Within the past decade or two, valuable studies by Filipino and American psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, educators, and political scientists have brought to light varied aspects of the Filipino character and life styles. Indeed all these scholars have contributed in no small measure to the ever-increasing levels of psychological awareness among Filipinos.

The Therapist And The Therapist - In - Training

Countertransference in a therapist who is “Filipino” in his upbringing, values, and life-style will be related to the experience of seeing much of himself in his Filipino patients. If he and the patient belong to the same social class, then this experience is brought even closer to home. Similarities in problems, attempted solutions, and subsequently encountered cultural limitations will then occur.

The only reliable boundary lines will come from psychological differences between himself and his patient. He has to be aware of these demarcation lines at all times in order to carry out his task objectively and effectively. There are pitfalls which the therapist may encounter in his own psyche. These are likely- to come in the following manner:

 

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