Ethnicity and Family Therapy

Ethnicity and Family Therapy

Ethnicity and Family Therapy

Ethnicity and Family Therapy


This widely used clinical reference and text provides a wealth of knowledge on culturally sensitive practice with families and individuals from over 40 different ethnic groups. Each chapter demonstrates how ethnocultural factors may influence the assumptions of both clients and therapists, the issues people bring to the clinical context, and their resources for coping and problem solving.


The future of our earth may depend on the ability of all [of us] to identify and develop
new … patterns of relating across difference.

—LORDE (1992, p. 502)

What would it be like to have not only color vision but culture vision, the ability to see
the multiple worlds of others?

—BATESON (1995, p. 53)

Cultural identity has a profound impact on our sense of well-being within our society and on our mental and physical health. Our cultural background refers to our ethnicity, but it is also profoundly influenced by social class, religion, migration, geography, gender oppression, racism, and sexual orientation, as well as by family dynamics. All these factors influence people's social location in our society—their access to resources, their inclusion in dominant definitions of “belonging,” and the extent to which they will be privileged or oppressed within the larger society. These factors also influence how family members relate to their cultural heritage, to others of their cultural group, and to preserving cultural traditions. Furthermore, we live in a society in which our high rates of cultural intermarriage mean that citizens of the United States increasingly reflect multiple cultural backgrounds. Nevertheless, because of our society's political, economic, and racial dynamics, our country is still highly segregated; we tend to live in communities segregated communities by race, culture, and class, which also have a profound influence on our sense of ethnic identity.

It is now more than two decades since the first edition of Ethnicity and Family Therapy was published; in these decades our awareness of cultural diversity in our society and . . .

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