Culturally Competent Family Therapy: A General Model

By Shlomo Ariel | Go to book overview

1
The Necessity to Incorporate Culture into the Theory and Practice of Family Therapy

CULTURE-BLIND FAMILY THERAPY: WHY?

Until the early eighties, theory and methodology in the field of family therapy had been cultivated in a test tube, as if families lived in a sociocultural vacuum. In the major schools of family therapy, difficulties presented by individuals had been explained as manifestations of certain dysfunctional constellations characterizing their families. Cultural relatively had been consistently ignored in this explanatory format. In each of the family therapy schools, methods of intervention have been directly or indirectly derived from this form of explanation. Again, none of these methods had been differentiated with respect to sociocultural diversity.

This theoretical and methodological lacuna stands in striking contrast to reality in the field. Most countries in which family therapy has been actually practiced are ethnically and culturally heterogeneous. In immigration countries such as the United States and Israel the whole of society consists of numerous ethnocultural communities in various stages of acculturation and mutual assimilation. Most family therapists in private practice, and even more so in public practice, regularly see families of varied homogeneous or mixed cultural backgrounds, which are often different from the therapist's. Furthermore, supervisors, other staff members and the therapist frequently all come from different ethnocultural communities.

Many family therapists have realized that this cultural diversity offers challenges that have not yet been fully met by current theories and methods. They have apprehended that it is impossible to understand fully the family and its problems, communicate with it meaningfully, secure its cooperation and really help it unless one possesses intimate knowledge of the culturally

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Culturally Competent Family Therapy: A General Model
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Part I - Culture and Family Therapy: an Overview 1
  • 1 - The Necessity to Incorporate Culture into the Theory and Practice of Family Therapy 3
  • Summary 17
  • 2 - The General Model of Culturally Competent Family Therapy: a Brief Outline 19
  • Summary 30
  • Part II - Family-Cultural Concepts Relevant to Diagnosis and Treatment 33
  • 3 - The Family's Conceptualization of Its Environment 35
  • Summary 43
  • 4 - The Family's Cultural Identity 45
  • Summary 65
  • 5 - The Family's Functioning and Lifestyle 67
  • Summary 74
  • 6 - The Family's Coping with Problems and Difficulties 77
  • Summary 82
  • Part III - The Information-Processing Framework 83
  • 7 - The Family as an Information-Processing System 85
  • Summary 100
  • 8 - Culturally Determined Family Dysfunction 103
  • Summary 116
  • Part IV - Culturally Competent Family Diagnosis 119
  • 9 - Data-Collection Instruments and Procedures 121
  • Summary 130
  • 10 - Analysis of Diagnostic Data 131
  • Summary 150
  • Part V - Therapy 153
  • 11 - The Therapeutic Alliance in Culturally Competent Family Therapy 155
  • Summary 163
  • 12 - Planning the Therapy: Strategies, Tactics and Techniques 165
  • Summary 193
  • 13 - The Therapeutic Process 195
  • Summary 212
  • Epilogue 213
  • Appendix - A Classified List of References 215
  • References 229
  • Index 249
  • About the Author 255
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