Bridging East-West Psychology and Counselling: Exploring the Work of Pittu Laungani


Edited by: Roy Moodley, Aanchal Rai & Waseem Alladin

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  • Part One: Building Multiple Cultural Bridges

    Part Two: Playing Amongst the Pillars of East-West Psychology

    Part Three: Towards Wisdom in the Practice of Counselling and Therapy

    Part Four: Multicultural Transitions and Therapeutic Relationships

    Part Five: Personal Reflections of Friends and Colleagues

  • Lifetime Achievement Award in Multicultural Psychology Presented to Dr. Pittu Laungani


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    We offer our sincere thanks to all the contributors in this book. Almost all of them knew Pittu Laungani personally and professionally. Their contribution is a celebration as well as a critique of Laungani's work. We would like to thank our many colleagues and friends in Canada, Britain, the United States of America and India who have in many different ways contributed directly and indirectly to the book. In particular, we wish to thank Ann Laungani for her support and encouragement throughout the process of the book's development. Appreciation and thanks to Anissa Talahite, William (Bill) Hall, Shukla Dhingra, Stephen Palmer, William West, Charles Spielberger, Dr (Bro.) Mathew Panathanath and Rev. (Bro.) George Padikara.

    Our thanks and appreciation also to the late Mr Tejeshwar Singh and Dr Sugata Ghosh of SAGE India.

    The editors and publishers warmly acknowledge the kind permission to reproduce papers from Counselling Psychology Quarterly and the generous support from Taylor and Francis/Routledge in waiving copyright fees and Michelle Whittaker for facilitating this tribute to the late Dr Pittu Laungani.

    Chapter 1: This chapter was previously published in Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 18(4), 247–259, (2005). © Taylor and Francis/Routledge.

    Chapter 4: A version of this chapter was previously published in Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 18(4), 261–276, (2005) as ‘In the Therapist's Chair: Professor Lana Stermac in conversation with Dr Pittu Laungani’. © Taylor and Francis/Routledge.

    Chapter 5: This chapter was previously published in Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 15(4), 385–397, (2002). © Taylor and Francis/Routledge.

    Chapter 6: This chapter was previously published in Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 7(1), 107–123. (2004). © Taylor and Francis/Routledge.

    Chapter 11: This chapter was previously published in Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 18(1), 61–71. (2005). © Taylor and Francis/Routledge.

    Chapter 15: This chapter was previously published in Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 17(2), 195–207, (2004). © Taylor and Francis/Routledge.

    The editors and publishers would also like to thank Professor Stephen Palmer, editor of the International Journal of Health Promotion and Education, the journal of the Institute of Health Promotion and Education for allowing us to reproduce previously published work of Dr Pittu Laungani.

    Chapter 20: This chapter was previously published in International Journal of Health Promotion and Education, 44(1), 17–13, (2006). © Institute of Health Promotion and Education.


    I first met Dr Pittu Laungani in 2005 when I had the opportunity to bestow upon him the OISE/University of Toronto Lifetime Achievement Award for Cross-Cultural Counselling and Multicultural Psychology. This engaging human being did not come across as the usual academic you meet; he was engaging and friendly, connecting and objective, and above all, he was ‘frank talking’. Professor Laungani not only confronted the challenges faced by those defined as ‘ethnic minorities’ but was, above all, able to use this experience to produce one of the most thought-provoking and influential critiques of ethno-centricity in the field of counselling. The depth and significance of his ideas became clear to me when I committed myself to be acquainted with his writing on a wide range of topics, such as cultural diversity, recovering from life threatening illness, death bereavement, stress and psychotherapy. It is indeed a great pleasure and an honour to contribute the foreword to this important collection of essays on Dr Laungani's scholarly work. This book, Bridging East-West Psychology and Counselling, is an important endeavour done in the field of counselling with a particular relevance to our multicultural society at large. It comes at an important time when our society is seeking to better understand its own diversity.

    Thanks to the editors, meticulous and rigorous selection and organization of chapters written by scholars and counselling researchers, this comprehensive, well-informed and analytical critical perspective on Dr Laungani's work is now available to future generations. This book is a bold attempt to capture the essence of Laungani's work in cross-cultural psychotherapy from a variety of angles and place it in the context of contemporary interrogations about race, ethnicity and mental health. Beginning with a section on ‘Building Multicultural Bridges’ and ending with personal reflections by his colleagues, this book offers a clear and coherent analysis of his work. The text is reader-friendly, rigorous, and well-researched. Moreover, many of the chapters also present new ideas and current research being undertaken in the field of counselling and psychotherapy. This book is valuable for not only academics but also policy makers whose work is to translate ideas into policies and legislations so that we can have a society not only preoccupied with ensuring law and order, but a more humanistic and democratic society that is sensitive to the needs of its people.

    Profiled in the book is the subliminal life of Pittu Laungani, an exceptional life dominated by humanism and a dedication to learning. Pittu once spoke to me about being from a family that believed that money, not education, was the way to assess a person. Rather than allow Pittu to go to university, his father sent him to work in a department store in Hong Kong. However, after a year, Pittu decided to attend the University of Bombay, where he eventually stayed on as a lecturer. At the university, his head of department told him that he stood little chance of becoming a professor as he was not a Brahmin. His desire for an academic career—and his need to complete his PhD—led him in 1966 to embark on what he called his ‘passage to England’. London eventually became his home, and he stayed there for the rest of his life.

    Dr Laungani also spoke to me about the various barriers he faced throughout his academic career, first by being told he would never achieve academic success in India, and then later when confronted by racism as a Black person in Britain. I identified with Dr Laungani's journey, myself being one of the first Black members of the provincial parliament in Canada, and the first Black Speaker of the Ontario Provincial Parliament, in a province that prides itself of its diversity and multiculturalism. I am sure that Dr Laungani's ideas as presented in this book will also speak to many people from many communities that have experienced similar struggles, as well as to anyone who wants to understand the complex and diverse world we live in.

    One of Laungani's main critiques of Western counselling is about its over reliance on an unquestioned rationality and its lack of understanding of the ways in which beliefs and differing moralities and world views can affect self-perception and perception of others. Immersed in both Western rationality/materialism and Eastern faiths/spiritualism, he was able to see the strengths and flaws in both with the objectivity of also being distanced from both. This unique vantage point allowed him to make an immense contribution to cross-cultural psychology and add a profound human understanding to the role of cultures and their influence on individuals. As he once wrote: ‘Faith without reason is blind, and reason without faith is dangerous.’ Never despairing of the human condition, he did much to enlighten our understanding of it.

    Laungani's work, I understand, caused controversy among his colleagues. Laungani did not favour the term ‘multiculturalism’, comparing it to postmodernism, ‘a philosophy of despair’. This was particularly reflected in his books Asian Perspectives in Counselling and Psychotherapy (2004) and Understanding Cross-Cultural Psychology (2007), where he discusses the impact of cultural differences upon cross-cultural relationships. I am sure that this collection of critical essays on his work will throw more light on some of the complexities of Laungani's ideas and stimulate the academic debate about multicultural counselling. As the editors in the introduction state: ‘Pittu Laungani was a multiculturalist in the true sense of the word in that he not only wrote about cross-cultural and multicultural issues in psychology, counselling and therapy but also lived his personal life to reflect his ideas about plurality, in particular he was attached to ancient and contemporary Indian philosophy and culture, Chinese culture, ancient Greek philosophy, while at the same time connected to contemporary English culture and Victorian English culture in a profound way.’ What this collection gives us is a vast perspective on what it means to work with the diversity and complexity of the human psyche and gives us an understanding that one model does not work for everyone.

    Dr Laungani's ideas are critical for the understanding we have of our society and make me hope for more collaboration between parliament and scholarly work in the future. Issues to do with counselling and mental health are complex and can have negative societal impact and permanent psychological damage to individuals. Academics have a task as professionals to follow this dialogue through by getting together with the policy makers and the politicians to continue to inform, continue to explain their studies and research. This dialogue is important because, without it, academic research can have little impact. Similarly, as legislators, we can feel rather lost at times, trying to debate these issues and not being privy to most academic studies or just understanding them in a rather general form. One of the reasons for my enthusiastic support for this book is the possibilities it opens for understanding our society regardless of what country we are from and regardless of what discipline we are in. I am certain this book will prove a valuable resource that, on the long term, could inform policy making and legislation for a more equal society.

    Finally, this book is more than a useful resource for academics and practitioners in the field of counselling and multiculturalism. It is above all a tribute to Pittu Laungani who sadly left us too soon, a year after I had the opportunity of meeting him. I feel that I have had the distinguished pleasure to have met a man, an individual who reflects the finer qualities of what we are all about. Pittu Laungani expressed to me his love for life; he exhumed a demeanor that revealed his particular connection and his dynamic engagement with reality. When we look at his academic achievements, we somehow feel that he is far removed from us. Yet, Dr Pittu Laungani was a warm, engaging and forthcoming individual whom I felt very comfortable with because of the immense sense of humanity in both his world view and his personality. This edited collection of critical essays on his work attests to the huge cannon of work that he has given us. It will, in years, continue to bear much fruit and prepare students, researchers and scholars to engage with ideas well into the 21st century. Yet, it is not only an important intellectual contribution to the field of multicultural counselling: it is a book that engages us all in the debate about human dignity.

    Dr AlvinCurling, Senior Fellow Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), Ontario, Canada, Former Speaker of the Ontario Provincial Parliament, Former Canadian Ambassador to the Dominican Republic


    If one were to construct a solid counselling bridge across Eastern and Western cultures, it would be necessary to examine not only the cultural factors but also the epistemologies, which guide the professional work of counsellors and therapists. (Laungani, 2005: 254)

    Pittu Laungani argued for the inclusion of Eastern cultural practices and epistemologies into Western counselling psychology and psychotherapy. In doing this, he drew attention to the problematics of Euro-American counselling and psychotherapy theories and practices. In his voluminous writings, Pittu Laungani has asked many critical questions relating to culture, psychology, science, ethics, death and bereavement. For counsellors the question that seems important to highlight is: Can counselling psychology and psychotherapy support the process of helping individuals and groups transcend the cultural, physical and psychological boundaries so that people can live in peace, mutual trust and harmony? ‘But as long as counsellors, therapists, academics remain entrenched within their own cultural boundaries such a dream is unlikely to be realised’ (Laungani, 2004: 206). He also argued that such a transcendence will not ‘lead to a corrosion of one's traditional values, one's cultural identity’ and reassuring his readers that ‘despite economic prosperity (or economic deprivation) people do not jettison their own cultural identity. Human beings, like chameleons, have the distinct ability to adapt and incorporate the changes within their cultural identity, without wrecking their ancient structure’ (Laungani, 2004: 202). This understanding of culture allowed him to freely enter into textual spaces of Western counselling psychology tradition without anxiety about his own cultural loss and supported him in his robust critique of many aspects of Western counselling and psychotherapy approaches. He also critiqued the Eastern philosophies and world views that were against the basic tenets of human rights, such as the widespread abuse of the caste system. Indeed, the Bhagavad Gita does not recognize the caste system as a way of discrimination or deprivation of Human Rights; and Krishna states categorically that before ‘God’ there is no caste, and King Yudistira offers his seat to a ‘low’ caste person.

    Pittu Laungani has written extensively in many areas of psychology, counselling and psychotherapy. His writings cover a wide range of topics, themes and practices, many of which were written from personal and private experiences to empirical research on various aspects of psychology and medicine. For example, in his book, ‘It shouldn't happen to a patient: A survivor's guide to fighting life-threatening illness’, Laungani (1992) has written candidly about his own life-threatening illness (he was diagnosed as having polymyositis—a condition that affected his body, his muscles, movements, as well as his immune system. His awareness of his illness and its effects on his inner world led him to share lessons learnt in ‘Therapeutic strategies for coping with a life-threatening illness: A personal testament’ (Laungani, 2003). Besides writing about philosophical, psychological and medical topics, he also wrote a number of plays for the theatre.

    Pittu Laungani was a multiculturalist in the true sense of the word in that he not only wrote about cross-cultural and multicultural issues in psychology, counselling and therapy but also lived his personal life to reflect his ideas about plurality. In particular he was attached to ancient and contemporary Indian philosophy and culture, Chinese culture, ancient Greek philosophy, while at the same time he connected to contemporary English culture and Victorian English culture in a profound way. His interest in these various cultures was more than just academic; he adored them as well as was repulsed by them, as is seen in his critique of them in many of his works. His most virulent criticism was of course on the Eurocentric and ethnocentric focus of counselling psychology and psychotherapy, positioning the Rogerian approach or the client-centred method as the most imperialistic (Laungani, 1997).

    Pittu Laungani was educated by the Jesuits at St Xaviers College, Bombay or Mumbai as it is now; spent his teenage years in Hong Kong before starting his academic career at the University of Bombay; he came to England in 1966, lived most of his life in England; taught at an English university, married an English person; and, wrote plays for the English theatre. Yet, he did not lose touch with his Indian roots. As he says: ‘Although I have lived in England for more years of my life than I have lived in India, there is within me an Indian-ness…for surrender would mean the loss of my birthright and with it my moral integrity’ (Laungani, 2007: 49). This is seen throughout his research and writings, some of which are republished in this book.

    The idea for this book was conceived in June 2005. Pittu Laungani received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Centre for Diversity in Counselling and Psychotherapy (CDCP), at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), at the University of Toronto on 28 June 2005.

    The award was offered in recognition of his outstanding scholarship, research and practice and to celebrate a lifetime of distinguished professional contribution to the theory, research and practice of psychology, particularly in multicultural counselling psychology. The CDCP, OISE/UT award is offered every two years, at the university's biannual Critical Multicultural Counselling and Psychotherapy Conference. At this conference, leading scholars and researchers in the field of multicultural counselling and psychotherapy reflect and critically examine the scholarship and research of the awardee to celebrate the pioneering work as well as identify the future potential of the awardee's work. An important part of this process is to record the history of multicultural and diversity counselling, psychology and psychotherapy through the work of the pioneers in this field. The conference that was held to honour Pittu Laungani generated a high level of scholarship and critical debate eventually resulting in two special edition journals. A special issue on ‘Death and Bereavement across Cultures’ was published by the Institute of Health Promotion and Education in their journal, The International Journal of Health Promotion and Education, Volume 44, No. 1, 2006. This special issue considered the work of Pittu Laungani in relation to death and bereavement. The Counselling Psychology Quarterly journal published, in Volume 18, No. 4, December 2005, papers on Pittu Laungani's keynote from this conference and his ‘In the Therapist's Chair’ interview (these are reproduced in this book as Chapter 1 and Chapter 4). Many other presentations from this conference are brought together in this book by some of the most celebrated and highly respected scholars and researchers in the world of cross-cultural counselling and psychotherapy, and multicultural psychology; others wrote especially for this volume.

    How the Book is Organized

    We begin the book with a general introduction that discusses the central issues that Dr Laungani had been concerned with during his career, his ideas and practices that led on to the multicultural aspect of Psychology. The book is then divided into five parts:

    Part One: Building Multiple Cultural Bridges

    In this part we begin with a key paper by Pittu Laungani. In Chapter 1, Building Multicultural Counselling Bridges: The Holy Grail or a Poisoned Chalice, Pittu Laungani discusses, in much detail, his ideas concerning multiculturalism, individualism, communalism and Popper's three worlds of epistemology. In his discussions, he attempts to answer the question: ‘Can we healers and menders of fractured psyches, bruised souls, promote the idea that in collective goodness lies individual goodness and work towards creating a harmonious multicultural society?’ This discussion is followed by Amrita Narayanan in Chapter 2: The Reciprocal Gaze: Pittu Laungani's Musings about Culture and Stress, in which she discusses Pittu Laungani's writings on culture and stress. Laungani believed that the particular set of values and demographic trends that characterize Indian culture call for an Indian model of stress that is distinct from Western models. She also explores Laungani's commentary on the preponderance of Western stress models and his model of cultural differences between India and England which acts as a bridge between traditional Indian and Western models of stress and coping. In Chapter 3: Traditional Healing and Spirituality: Pittu Laungani Building Bridges in Counselling, Roy Moodley discusses Pittu Laungani's call for the integration of Hindu spirituality and the various South Asian traditional healing methods. He explores Laungani's critique of Western counselling psychology which, in turn, sets the scene and a rationale for the integration of traditional methods. The chapter offers a number of suggestions to counselling psychologists for the integration of traditional healing methods into their practice. In Chapter 4: Dancing with the Master: An Interview with Pittu Laungani, Lana Stermac interviews Laungani about his life and work. She engages Pittu Laungani in a discussion of his interest in the field of cross-cultural psychology and how it intersected with his life along with his insight into his theories and current interests.

    Part Two: Playing amongst the Pillars of East-West Psychology

    In this section, we begin once again with Pittu Laungani addressing critical issues related to cross-cultural counselling and Western psychology. This is offered in Chapter 5: Cross-cultural Psychology: A Handmaiden to Mainstream Western Psychology. Laungani continues in Chapter 6, Unresolved Issues in Philosophy and Psychology: Implications for Therapy. In Chapter 7: Playing Amidst the Pillars: Pittu Laungani and Yogic Psychology, Amrita Narayanan critiques Western psychology and explores Laungani's work in relation to individual psychic anxiety, individual experience and alleviation of suffering, and offers a framework for understanding psychic anxiety that actively includes self-definition, culture and values in its thinking through a presentation and discussion of fundamental concepts of cultural yoga psychology. In Chapter 8: South Asian Traditional Healing in Counselling: Laungani's Search for a Transcultural Approach, Aanchal Rai and Roy Moodley, discuss Pittu Laungani's critique of Western counselling; his attempts to highlight the growing gap between South Asian mental health needs and the Western mental health services; his efforts to find a transcultural approach that will work in the diaspora; and his ideas for including South Asian traditional healing practices in counselling psychology and psychotherapy. Roy Moodley follows this discussion in Chapter 9: East-West Journey inCounselling Psychology: An Interview with Pittu Laungani, a personal interview in which Pittu Laungani shares his personal and private moments in his life.

    Part Three: Towards Wisdom in the Practice of Counselling and Therapy

    In Chapter 10: Transcending the Boundaries of Counselling: Pittu Laungani as Master Counsellor, Juris G. Draguns explores the four major themes that are discernible in Pittu Laungani's work: identifying the implicit assumptions underlying Eastern and Western counselling; integrating his own personal experience in making counselling more perceptive and effective; elevating death and dying to a central concern of psychology, both basic and applied; and linking the objectives and operations of counselling to the fundamental concerns of epistemology and philosophy of science. In the process of grappling with these concerns, Pittu Laungani advanced counselling as the art and science of helping human beings help themselves, not only in adjusting to the vicissitudes of life, but in acquiring wisdom. This discussion is followed by Pittu Laungani in Chapter 11: Caste, Class and Culture: A Case Study in which he explores all these issues. In Chapter 12: Pittu Laungani, a Bicultural Psychologist: Commentary on ‘Caste, Class and Culture’, Alan Roland offers a commentary on Pittu Laungani's chapter. He says: ‘Rarely does one see a psychotherapist who can really write, who introduces tension and drama in a lively way in his case study. His stance as a psychotherapist is overtly Western, a kind of cognitive therapist who guides himself by Karl Popper's rational ideas of problem-solving. He also places a high value on maintaining a patient's autonomy; and is also enormously sensitive to and knowledgeable of Indian cultural/psychological issues, which permeate his understanding of the patient: marital arrangements and social change; bicultural self of immigrants; Indian father–son relationship; clashes between Indian and English sensibilities and values, all deeply internalized’. In Chapter 13: Solitude of Unbearable Shame: An Analysis of Two Case Studies by Pittu Laungani, Sabar Rustomjee explores the meaning of shame, especially unbearable shame, which ‘rises when one feels emotionally overwhelming humiliation, accompanied by the conviction that one's credibility, honour and very sense of self-worth has been totally destroyed forever’. She assesses two case studies by Pittu Laungani through the lens of unbearable shame and highlights the importance of this aspect in therapy. In Chapter 14: Becoming a Cultural Chameleon: Pittu Laungani, Western Counsellors and Multicultural Clients, William West draws his work from two interviews that he conducted with Pittu Laungani, as well as other meetings and e-mail contacts that he has had with Pittu Laungani regarding Western counsellors and non-Western clients. The chapter first considers Pittu's critique of Western counselling, of its avoidance of religious issues, of the cultural ignorance of many counsellors and their lack of knowledge of non-English languages. William then explores the potential application of Pittu's work in India relating his ideas to some Indian writers on counselling. Finally, he examines Pittu's notion of counsellors becoming chameleon-like as a possible way forward for working with clients from diverse cultural backgrounds.

    Part Four: Multicultural Transitions and Therapeutic Relationships

    Part Four begins with Chapter 15, Pittu Laungani's ideas on Counselling and Therapy in a Multicultural Setting. In this chapter he explores a number of critical issues, which are pertinent to the transformation of counselling in a multicultural context. This chapter is followed by Ruth M. Litjmaer's Chapter 16: Migration, Cultural Values and the Medical Model: Pittu Laungani and Psychotherapy in which she critically discusses the experience of culture shock when people migrate and the use of a second language; the differences and similarities between Eastern and Western cultural values in psychotherapy and the use of medication and psychological treatment based on the medical model. In Chapter 17: Tortoises and Turtles: Pittu Laungani, Cultural Transitions and Therapeutic Relationships, Fevronia Christodoulidi and Colin Lago discuss the challenges involved in assisting culturally different clients manage their attempt to integrate mainstream culture; what factors are responsible for resilience and maintaining congruence of self as clients move between cultures. These issues are explored in relation to Pittu Laungani's work. The crucial importance of therapists acquiring sensitivity when assisting clients who face the effects of cross-cultural transitions is highlighted, emphasizing the need for discovering a mutual ground among contrasting cultural values and achieving both acknowledgement of dynamics of culture and transcendence of cultural barriers, as it may appear possible within a fruitful therapeutic relationship. Chapter 18: Transcending East/West Boundaries: Pittu Laungani and Cross-cultural Counselling by Maya Hammer and Waseem Alladin, examines Pittu Laungani's perspective on whether culture and cultural values can be transcended in the field of counselling and psychotherapy. Drawing on Pittu Laungani's work in cross-cultural psychology, they provide an outline of the different cultural values known to Eastern and Western cultures and how these values are represented in therapeutic relationships. Maya and Waseem then provide suggestions that have been mentioned by Laungani, by the means of which, culture and beliefs can become a part of counselling and psychotherapy, instead of being sidelined or ignored. Sandra E.S. Neil in Chapter 19: Pittu Laungani, Multicultural Humanism and Eclectic Psychotherapy explores Pittu Laungani's work in relation to cultural values, models, traditions and norms of both patients and psychologists into the therapeutic setting. The chapter discusses the ‘Multicultural Family Chessboard’ method which has reference to multigenerational as well as multicultural realities in psychotherapy. Finally, to conclude Part Four we offer one of Pittu Laungani's critical papers as Chapter 20: Religious Rites and Rituals in Death and Bereavement: An Indian Experience, which reflects on his research and scholarship in this field, with particular reference to South Asian understanding of this process.

    Part Five: Personal Reflections of Friends and Colleagues

    This section comprises warm reminiscences that reveal the kind of person Pittu Laungani was, and what he stood for to his friends and peers. It begins with Antoinette D. Thomas’ reminiscence in which she poignantly reveals how Dr Laungani, who was terminally ill with paralysis, polymyositis and pulmonary fibrosis, simply refused to be paralyzed and continued with his work, setting a brilliant example of ‘mind-over-matter’ as a means of survival. Pittu Laungani's wife Ann R. Laungani writes about her life and time with Pittu Laungani; his ideas and writings; and his illness. This is followed by short pieces of remembrances and celebratory reflections by Pittu Laungani's colleagues. Stephen Palmer describes Pittu Laungani's role as his Ph.D. advisor and illustrates Pittu Laungani's excellence that is evident in his work, especially his work on death and bereavement; the last volume on this subject was eventually completed by Stephen Palmer after Pittu Laungani's death. Waseem Alladin reflects on Pittu Laungani, the person behind the professional, and the long relationship that they shared over the years academically and personally. As editor of the Counselling Psychology Quarterly, Waseem Alladin had the opportunity of publishing many ground-breaking articles by Pittu Laungani. Waseem Alladin also comments on Pittu Laungani's humorous personality. Uwe P. Gielen reflects on their first and subsequent meetings and the critical role that Pittu Laungani played in the international psychology scene. Richard de Zoysa writes about their initial meetings; interactions with Pittu Laungani starting from Cricket to discussing the works of Burtrand Russell and Socrates. He describes Pittu Laungani's life and the various events that make him an inspirational person. Finally, Nicolò Pipitone, who writes about Pittu Laungani's illness. He describes Pittu Laungani's attitude towards his illness as ‘Dr Laungani never attempted to belittle or deny the devastating consequences that myositis had had on his life; at the same time, he took up right from the start the challenge posed by his condition with extreme determination and courage’.

    Laungani, P. (1992). It shouldn't happen to a patient. London: Whiting & Birch.
    Laungani, P. (1997). Replacing client-centered counselling with cultural-centered counselling. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 10(4), 343–351.
    Laungani, P. (2003). Therapeutic strategies for coping with a life-threatening illness: A personal testament. Illness, Crisis & Loss, 11(2), 162–182.
    Laungani, P. (2004). Counselling and therapy in a multi-cultural setting. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 17(2), 195–207.
    Laungani, P. (2005). Building multicultural counselling bridges: The holygrail or a poisoned chalice. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 18(4), 247–259.
    Laungani, P. (2007). Understanding cross-cultural psychology. New Delhi: Sage Publications.
  • About the Editors and Contributors

    The Editors

    Roy Moodley, Ph.D. is Associate Professor in Counselling Psychology at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. His research and publication interests include traditional and cultural healing; multicultural and diversity counselling; race, culture and ethnicity in psychotherapy; and masculinities. Roy co-edited Transforming Managers: Gendering Change in the Public Sector (1999); Carl Rogers Counsels a Black Client: Race and Culture in Person-Centred Counselling (2004); Integrating Traditional Healing Practices into Counselling and Psychotherapy (2005); and Race, Culture and Psychotherapy: Critical Perspectives in Multicultural Practice (2006).

    Aanchal Rai, MA is a psychotherapist working in Toronto with several years of experience of providing counselling and therapy to clients suffering from a range of psychological difficulties. Her research and publication interests include multicultural and diversity counselling and South Asian traditional forms healing. Her publications include Bridging the Gap: Western Counselling and South Asian Mental Health Needs (2009), Role of South Asian Traditional Healers in Counselling (M.A. Thesis, University of Toronto, 2008) and Pilot Study of a Personalized Feedback Intervention for Problem Gamblers (2009), co-edited Within and Beyond Borders: Critical Multicultural Counselling in Practice (2009).

    Waseem Alladin, Psy.D. is the Editor in Chief of Counselling Psychology Quarterly, an international journal of theory, research practice. He is the Clinical Director of the Centre for Work Stress Management/Centre for Cognitive Neuro-psychology Therapy and Head of Psychology department, Autism Care, UK. He is a consultant chartered clinical and counselling psychologist and a forensic clinical neuropsychologist. He has published in the fields of transcultural and clinical psychology and chronic pain. He presented an ethnobiopsychosocial model for counselling and psychotherapy at the 2008 UNESCO Paris Conference.

    The Contributors

    Fevronia Christodoulidi, MA, MSc is a qualified counsellor from Greece. She is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Manchester, UK, researching counsellors and psychotherapists’ experiences of moving between cultures and managing cross-cultural transitions.

    Juris G. Draguns, Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Penn State University.

    Uwe P. Gielen, Ph.D. is Professor of Psychology and Executive Director of the Institute for International and Cross-Cultural Psychology at St. Francis College, New York. He has served as president of the International Council of Psychologists and the Society for Cross-Cultural Research and edited/co-edited/co-authored 18 volumes in international psychology.

    Maya Hammer, MA completed a master's degree in Counselling Psychology from the Ontario Institute from Studies in Education of the University of Toronto.

    Colin Lago, MA was Director of the Counselling Service at the University of Sheffield, UK from 1987–2003. He now works as an independent counsellor, trainer, supervisor and consultant. He is a Fellow of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, an accredited counsellor and trainer and UKRC registered practitioner. Deeply committed to transcultural concerns within psychotherapy, he has published articles, videos and books on the subject.

    Ann R. Laungani, MA spent many years working in London in nursing, health visiting, nurse teaching and management in the UK NHS. She has been involved in patient/career involvement activities at the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust and is now moving on from her health experience to counselling and doing an MSc in Counselling and Psychotherapy at Roehampton University, London, UK.

    Ruth M. Lijtmaer, Ph.D. is a Senior Supervisor, Training Analyst and Faculty at the Center for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy of New Jersey at Fairleigh Dickinson University, NJ, and in private practice in Ridgewood, NJ.

    Amrita Narayanan, Ph.D. is a Psychologist in practice at a State Hospital in California and a longtime student and teacher of yoga.

    Sandra E.S. Neil, Ph.D. is a Clinical Psychologist and Family Psychologist, Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society, and Australian National Representative of the International Academy of Family Psychology, and a Past President of the International Council of Psychology. She has been the author of numerous books and papers, and chairs forums throughout the world on Peace, International Relations and Human Rights. In May 2008 she spoke at the United Nations in New York, USA for the UN's Committee on the Family, on ‘Fathering: A Job for Real Men and in Some Measure Women’.

    Stephen Palmer, Ph.D. is Founder Director of the Centre for Stress Management, and Director of the Coaching Psychology Unit at City University, London, UK. He is a Chartered Psychologist and Fellow of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. He has written/edited 35 books on a range of topics.

    Nicolò Pipitone, MD is Consultant Rheumatologist at the Rheumatology Unit and Vasculitis Center of the Arcispedale S.M. Nuova of Reggio Emilia, Italy. He is member of the American College of Rheumatology and of the British Society for Rheumatology and has published over 60 papers in peer-reviewed journals.

    Alan Roland, Ph.D. is a practicing psychoanalyst in New York City, a Training Analyst and a member of the Faculty and Board of Directors Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis. He has worked extensively with Indians and Indian Americans, and has authored two books based on this experience.

    Sabar Rustomjee, Ph.D. is Honorary Senior Lecturer at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. She is a clinical member of the American Group Psychotherapy Association and Group Analytic Society London. She is currently working in Individual and Group Psychotherapy in Melbourne, Australia.

    Lana Stermac, Ph.D. is Professor in the Counselling Psychology Programme at the University of Toronto and a senior adjunct member of the Women's College Hospital Research Institute.

    Antoinette D. Thomas, Ph.D. is Past-President of the International Council of Psychologists. She is a Canadian and Egyptian culturist, clinical and counselling psychologist.

    William West, Ph.D. is a Reader in Counselling Studies at University of Manchester. He is chair of the Culture and Psychotherapy section of the Society for Psychotherapy Research (International) and is a Fellow and practitioner member of BACP. He is well known for his research and writing on spirituality, culture, traditional healing, supervision and qualitative methodologies.

    Richard de Zoysa, Ph.D. was Senior Lecturer in Politics at London South Bank University and an honorary research fellow. He has published numerous academic articles and reviews, lecturing widely in both Europe and the USA, while contributing to radio and television discussion.

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