Culturally Competent Family Therapy: A General Model

By Shlomo Ariel | Go to book overview
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Choose an overall line of intervention, a general approach to the problem of removing or weakening the bugs in the family cultural-information- processing programs. Help the family derive bug-free, adaptive programs and instructions from its existing repertoire of programs.


Choose appropriate techniques of intervention for each stage of the therapy. Sources of techniques are current family and other therapeutic methods and traditional problem-solving and healing techniques. The therapist should modify original techniques to fit the family's cultural programs (see chapter 12) and carry out the therapy in a culturally sensitive manner, as well as trace the processes of change with an eye to operative family cultural factors.


This chapter includes a brief outline of the model of culturally competent family therapy presented in this book. It lists the main sources of the model and its chief contents. It sketches the information-processing conceptual- terminological framework in which these contents are synthesized and systematized, and it delineates the general structure of the culturally competent family therapy process.

The main sources of the model's contents are the culturally competent family therapy literature, anthropology and sociology of the family, cross- cultural psychology and psychiatry and linguistics. The conceptual- terminological framework borrows on general systems theory, cognitive science, linguistics and communication theory. All these have been incorporated into the author's own model of integrative, multisystemic therapy.

The model contains concepts for describing the family as a dynamic cultural system, concepts and terms for analyzing and explaining culturally determined family dysfunction, as well as methods and techniques for repairing such dysfunction. All these are incorporated into an information-processing, cybernetic theoretical framework.

Culturally competent family therapy is required mainly to solve intersystemic dysfunction, that is, bugged cultural information-processing due to a family's encounter with unfamiliar, stress-inducing cultural information. In such encounters, the metaprograms in charge of restoring the simplicity of the family's cultural information-processing system cannot function properly. The family cannot process the new information in complete, parsimonious and consistent manners. Its bugged, that is, incomplete, inconsistent, redundant and confused processing of the information is dys


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