In the 1930s, Peking Union Medical College oversaw the most advanced neuropsychiatric unit in China. Li, a married twenty-two-year-old college student, sought treatment there in 1937 for his anxiety disorder. In ten months with therapist Bingham Dai (1899–1996), Li worked out his secret desire for homosexual and extramarital relations. Dai, trained in sociology at the University of Chicago, interpreted Li's condition in terms of the psychology of wartime collaboration. Drawing on this case study, this article accomplishes three objectives. First, it reassesses the historical relationship between psychoanalysis and homosexuality in a non-Western context. The particular dynamics of Sino-Japanese relations advances a rethinking of the global history of sexual science. Second, the essay aims to elucidate the multiple currents of psychodynamic thinking in 1930s China. Dai integrated psychoanalysis into a clinical setting and stressed the unlocking of Chinese cultural factors as the key to successful therapeutic outcome. What distinguished Dai was his interest in the epistemological overlaps between the neo-Freudian and Confucian approaches to social relations and interpersonal dynamics. Finally, the article discusses how Dai's treatment of Li raises subversive questions about the fragile position of the therapist himself, with respect to both sexual orientation and nationalist identification.

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