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The role of cultural differences in couples therapy:  therapist’s cultural competence and dynamics of cultural  aspects in working with couples

The role of cultural differences in couples therapy: therapist’s cultural competence and dynamics of cultural aspects in working with couples

This clinical teaching presents an analysis of cultural factors in the area of couples therapy. It will be explained why culture issues are particularly significant in family and couples therapy. A short historical review of changing approaches to the issue of culture in couples therapy will be presented, starting with eurocentrism followed by early fascination with ‘exotic ‘ native cultures and finally, ending with current trends toward multicultural families.

This clinical teaching presents an analysis of cultural factors in the area of couples therapy. It will be explained why culture issues are particularly significant in family and couples therapy. A short historical review of changing approaches to the issue of culture in couples therapy will be presented, starting with eurocentrism followed by early fascination with ‘exotic ‘ native cultures and finally, ending with current trends toward multicultural families. Issues of cultural differences between the therapist and client(s) in the above models will be explored as well, finally focusing on the example of Hawaii as a model of multicultural awareness. Issues of local identification vs. global sense of identity will be discussed, utilizing concepts of postmodern philosophy and cognitive theory (analytical vs. nonlinear holistic processing). Finally, the presentation will focus on discussing challenges for clinicians as well as opportunities inherent in working with couples in an multicultural environment. (This presentation would be best suited for either oral presentation or clinical teaching format, as many clinical examples from the author’s practice working with diverse couples in Hawaii will be discussed at length.

Conference: Demo
Areas of Interest / Categories: Family Therapy