Cultural Psychotherapy: Working With Culture in the Clinical Encounter

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9780765702241: Cultural Psychotherapy: Working With Culture in the Clinical Encounter
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This innovative book provides therapists with a practical guide for treating patients from other cultures. Basing her material on extensive clinical work with patients from many ethnic backgrounds, Dr. Seeley shares insights on the problems of using a second language, recognizing cultural material presented in sessions, and making specific changes in clinical practice to accommodate cultural differences. This is a timely and well-conceived model of psychotherapy that enhances cross-cultural clinical work.

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About the Author:

Karen Seeley, M.S.W., Ph.D., is an adjunct professor of anthropology at Columbia University, an adjunct professor of psychology at Barnard College, and a staff psychotherapist at Barnard College's Counseling and Psychological Services.

Review:

One of the few [books] that successfully combines anthropological and psychological perspectives on clinical work. . . . It is written in plain language for psychotherapy practitioners at all levels of training. (Joan D. Koss-Chioino Journal Of Transcultural Psychiatry, (39) 1)

Through a series of illuminating case studies, Karen Seeley takes the unusual tack of looking at psychotherapy through the eyes of non-Western patients. The result is a powerful critique of the limits and biases of psychotherapeutic theory and practice in an increasingly multicultural and globalized world. But the book goes beyond this negative critique to make a brilliant argument for a more ethnographic approach to clinical work, in which the therapist listens as much for relevant cultural meanings and values as for theoretically universal symptoms. (Sherry Ortner, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles)

Karen Seeley makes an illuminating and persuasive case for the importance of culture in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, well demonstrating her thesis that all presenting problems and transferences are cultural. Exploring the different ego functions necessary to function well in particular cultures, Seeley gives excellent case examples that show that a patient's cultural issues and the cultural differences between patients and therapists are best thought of as shaping psychology rather than as resistances to treatment. This book is a must read for those interested in the interplay between culture and psyche (Lynn Layton, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychology in t, Harvard Medical School)

With this volume, Dr. Seeley establishes herself among the most important clinician/scholars working in the area of multicultural psychotherapy. Rich clinical material illustrates how the therapist can help clients bring cultural material into the treatment. Dr. Seeley provides abundant clinical examples of intercultural dynamics when client and clinician are from different backgrounds. This book is recommended to clinicians at all levels of experience. (Jeffrey Seinfeld, PhD, professor, New York University School of Social Work)

This book is a major step in introducing different cultural/psychological worlds into psychotherapeutic discourse and practice. (Alan Roland Ph.D., faculty and senior member, National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis)

Karen Seeley, an American psychotherapist with training in anthropology, social work, and cultural psychology, brought the strands of her interdisciplinary background to bear upon the intensive qualitative study of clients in psychodynamic therapy. The question of how psychotherapy is perceived and conceptualized across the culture gulf has rarely been asked, and the clients' reactions have rarely been given voice, except in relation to the possible complication in the therapy process that they engendered. . . . Seeley's research is unique in that she interviewed other therapists' patients and thereby provided another perspective to thte experience of the therapy process. Seeley's unique data provide valuable glimpses into her interviewees' subjective culture. (Juris Draguns, co-author of Handbook of Culture, Therapy, and Healing)

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