Understanding Hindu Women Through Sita

The Following Presentation is based upon a dissertation which won the
2016 Dissertation Award from Section III (Women & Psychoanalysis) of Division 39

CAPP Strives to create opportunity for students and Early Career professionals to develop their professional voice and contribute to the ongoing dialogue in psychoanalysis.  Multiculturalism and Women are two important perspectives emerging in contemporary psychoanalysis.

CAPP-Chicago Association for Psychoanalytic Psychology
Understanding Hindu Women Through Sita
Friday November 18, 2016 from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM CST
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What can we learn about Sita, and therefore about Hindu women, if we apply psychology to understanding her life on earth?  That is the idea behind this presentation by Vara Saripalli.
Sita is one of the most important goddesses of Hinduism (there about one billion Hindus in the world, and Hinduism is the religion of 80% of the people in India.)  To most Hindus, the gods and goddesses are intimate living presences.  Millions of Hindu women evaluate themselves and how they are living their lives relative to what Sita was like.  Sita’s life, as told in the Ramayana, was full of drama: she was married to a prince, kidnapped, held in captivity, freed through a brutal war, forced to prove her faithfulness to her husband, and was banished from the kingdom for the sin of allowing herself to be kidnapped.
This presentation seeks to understand Sita: her choices, her motivations, and her mental make-up, and it also thereby tells us about the psychology of Hindu women.
Educational objectives:  After the presentation the participant will be able to:
a) discern how a large number of Hindu Indians use their knowledge of the gods and goddesses to guide them in their lives;
b) describe key facets of the Hindu woman’s ego ideal as it is based on the image of Sita, who embodied faithfulness to her husband and tolerance of suffering.
** Presentation based upon a dissertation which won the
2016 Dissertation Award from Section III (Women & Psychoanalysis) of Division 39**


Vara P. Saripalli, Psy.D. is a pre-licensed psychologist in private practice. Dr. Saripalli has lived in both the USA and India, where she completed her undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering. She worked as an engineer and actuary for several years before switching careers and completing her Psy.D. at the Illinois School of Professional Psychology, Chicago. In her clinical work, she specializes in psychodynamic psychology with an emphasis on multicultural awareness.

James W. Anderson, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in private practice, is Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern University, where he teaches courses such as theories of personality and the psychology of film.  At the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis, Jim is a faculty member, Editor of the Annual of Psychoanalysis, and co-chair of the Multicultural Study Group.    In his writing, he specializes in psychological biography and has published papers on the lives of William and Henry James, Woodrow Wilson, Edith Wharton, Sigmund Freud, D. W. Winnicott, and Frank Lloyd Wright.
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Theresa Gregoire, PsyD
CAPP-Chicago Association for Psychoanalytic Psychology
CAPP-Chicago Association for Psychoanalytic Psychology,3712 N. Broadway, Ste. 321, Chicago, IL 60613