Diversity in Psychotherapy: The Politics of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender

Diversity in Psychotherapy: The Politics of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender

Diversity in Psychotherapy: The Politics of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender

Diversity in Psychotherapy: The Politics of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender

Synopsis

This challenging and insightful work wrestles with the difficult treatment problems confronting both culturally and socially oppressed clients and psychotherapists in a society where diversity has often been resisted. The authors question long-held assumptions within the profession and urge recognition of new ethnic, racial, and gender realities which significantly impact therapies. Recognizing the implications of cultural diversity in the society, the authors-clinicians seek to broaden health professionals' awareness of clients' needs and to promote the requisite empathy. They describe how ethnic, racial, and gender issues affect psychotherapy's progress and outcomes. Specific concerns about such key factors as self-esteem, gender roles, and social regard are addressed in a context supportive of diversity enhancement rather than one seeking uniformity. Case studies offer highly valuable resource material and, through the authors' explication, insights into their challenging perspectives on this highly important health service.

Excerpt

Stanley Sue

Little did the founding forefathers know that by introducing African slavery into the United States, they were laying the seeds for centuries of racial and ethnic strife. While the nature of the strife has changed over time, it can be seen in all phases of life in the United States.

Diversity in Psychotherapy, written byJean Lau Chin,Victor De La Cancela , and Yvonne M. Jenkins, is a vivid account of how ethnic and racial diversity issues, as well as other diversity issues such as gender and sexual orientation, are embedded in society in general and psychotherapy in particular. the perspective of the authors is that effective psychotherapy for culturally diverse populations is not simply a matter of finding a culturally specific technique to use or of understanding the cultural content of the client. Rather, a broad understanding of personal, professional, and political processes is needed. This is illustrated not only in the analysis of race/ethnic relations but also in the presentation of clinical cases. in addition, diversity needs to be respected and valued as an asset instead of a liability. To the authors, concepts involving "liberation," "empowerment," "capitalism," "oppression," and so on are Germane. They will also provoke much controversy. Some readers who want to know how to conduct psychotherapy with pluralistic populations will not find simple and easy answers; those whose vision of issues in psychotherapy is limited to the disciplines of the helping professions--for example, psychology, psychiatry, social work, and psychiatric nursing--will more clearly see the difficulties in confining their analysis to these disciplines. Indeed, the book is as much a sociopolitical and historical statement as it is a mental health guide.

The fact of the matter is that as we approach the twenty-first century . . .

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