1Siva Prakash

1NMC Healthcare, Dubai, United Arab Emirates


This is an observational study report based on decades of psychotherapy practice in multi cultural settings. With a vast majority of clients seeking help in UAE hail from Indian subcontinent, while a significant proportion of professionals engaged in psychotherapy belong to  Arab and western culture, this study assumes immense significance and implications for practice of psychotherapy.

Material(s) and Method(s):

Study methods are largely observational in nature, with case reports of psychotherapeutic engagements providing bulk of data. No systematic statistical analysis has been attempted for practical reasons.


Exposure to social relationships is spread over a number of persons. Parents do not have exclusive privilege of being the sole agent for structuring social relationships and regulations for the child.

Individual goes through an unending series of dependency relationships. Marriage dos not connote a landmark to the development of a fully independent unit.

The ever lasting and ever recurring dependency relationships are governed by concepts of inherited status often divorced from concept of role.


Ego boundaries – Concept of mine and not mine is poorly developed, this applies not only to material possessions but also to the time, thoughts and emotions.

Ego strength – child or adolescent is a uniquely valued one in the system. This later leads to inability to wait any length of time without becoming anxious or irritable. Ego requires constant external supply of esteem for its stability. Readiness to assume individual responsibility for anything is not well developed.

Dependency anticipation has great reference from psychotherapeutic point of view. In the Indian environment the ideal of maturity is satisfying continuous dependency relationships. Independency longings can cause neurotic anxiety.

The role of culturally idealized concepts cannot be underestimated. Relative independence of various personality functions is assumed while integration of personality functions is the western aim. The witness function of ego embodied in Indian thought has immense psychotherapeutic value.

To conclude all these concepts might be considered as cultural determinants of personality and illness.

Much more research is needed in this important area as available citations are scanty.