This book is an introduction to a general integrative model of culturally competent family therapy. In this model, concepts, methods and findings borrowed from heterogeneous sources have been incorporated into a synthesis of various current theories of family therapy. The main sources tapped have been social and cultural anthropology, sociology, cross-cultural social psychology, cross-cultural psychiatry and linguistics. All these materials have been explicated, systematized and formalized within the conceptual and terminological framework of information processing and semiotics.
This book is designed as a complete guide to culturally competent family therapy with any family of any sociocultural background. The need for such a guide is self-evident considering the social reality faced by most family therapists these days. Due to the current global trends of rapid immigration, international migration of refugees and workers, formation of multicultural families and social mobility, fewer and fewer clinicians find themselves working within a unicultural context. Most practitioners nowadays work with families of heterogeneous cultural, social, religious and linguistic backgrounds or with culturally mixed families. Furthermore, clinicians very often work together with colleagues whose sociocultural backgrounds are different from their own.
A clinician using this book is not required to have prior intimate acquaintance with, or expert knowledge of, any specific social group. The assumption underlying the model proposed in this book is that every family has its own specific culture, which is partly shared by the various communities to which the family belongs and partly unique to the particular family. The following citation from Schwartzman ( 1983) is relevant here: