Mental Health in Bhutan: Listening for Bridges



Western modes of understanding and treating mental illness arrived in Bhutan in the 1990’s and co-exist with traditional healing approaches based in Buddhism and an adaptation of Tibetan medicine.  In this talk Dr. Tietjen will discuss the state of mental health treatment in Bhutan today. Based on her experience of providing psychotherapy to Bhutanese patients at the National Referral Hospital, Dept. of Psychiatry in Thimphu and teaching Bhutanese counselors-to-be she will describe the challenges and revelations of developing treatments that bridge healing traditions and reflect the specific realities of rapid Westernization in this deeply Buddhist culture.

About the Speaker

Dr. Tietjen is a licensed clinical psychologist and holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University.  She currently teaches a course on Culture and Mental Illness at Western Washington University.  She has worked as a psychologist in Bhutan through Health Volunteers Overseas and is project director for the Bhutan Mental Health Project.