Lecture at the Indonesian Psychiatric Association

I recently gave a special lecture "Trauma, secrets and the pandemic: the role of transcultural psychiatry” at the Indonesian Psychiatric Association (PIT PDSKJI 2021) http://pitpdskji.org/.


The invitation came from Dr. Cokorda Bagus Jaya Lesmana (Yaya), the chair of Indonesian Cultural Psychiatric section.


When I first met Yaya more than twenty years ago, he was still a child. His mother, Dr. Suryani, was a psychiatric professor at Udayana University, and we did a collaborative research together. I respect her work deeply and have many nice memories (http://www.suryani-institute.com/). 

We met Yaya again at the World Association of Cultural Psychiatry in NY in 2018.  Now, Yaya is thriving as a psychiatrist.  


It is so nice to re-connect!


I put the abstract of the lecture here. 




Trauma is often unspoken or unspeakable. Even in clinical settings, patients reveal serious traumatic experiences  years later or they may never tell. Traumatic reactions/symptoms inherently make speech more difficult. Silence is more common if the experience is stigmatizing, shameful, or guilt-ridden. In this lecture, I will discuss trauma and hidden stories based on my clinical and ethnographic work as a psychiatrist. I introduce an original model for understanding patients with trauma: Ring-Shaped Island (Donut Island). Ring-Shaped Island is an island with an inner sea that symbolizes silence. The model integrates various aspects of trauma by employing three metaphors: GRAVITY (prolonged effect of trauma), WIND (interpersonal conflicts), and WATER LEVEL (social recognition and acceptance). This model is used to analyze unspoken aspects of trauma, especially the socially tabooed ones, focusing on the pathogenic effects of secrets and subsequent lies necessary to keep those secrets. COVID-19 pandemic caused chaos ensued by silence, secrets, and inevitable lies. I will discuss how to navigate secrets and lies in the clinical setting, especially relevant in the times we live today.


If you would like to know more, please read the Ring-Shaped Island website, too.



The followings are related books written in Japanese.

2021 Miyaji, N., Welcome to the Ring-shaped Island: Polyphony of Trauma. Nihon Hyoron Sha co., Ltd 

2020 Miyaji, N., Touching Trauma: Somatic Turn of Trauma Studies. Kongo-Shuppan.