Black Families in Therapy: Understanding the African American Experience. Second Edition.
xiv, 368 p.
The Guilford Press
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New York, NY 10012
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Designed to help professionals and students understand and address cultural and racial issues in therapy with African American clients, this text explores the problems and challenges facing African American communities at different socioeconomic levels, expands major therapeutic concepts and models to be more relevant to the experiences of African American families and individuals, and outlines an empowerment-based, multisystemic approach to helping clients mobilize cultural and personal resources for change. Part 1 begins with a review of the history of African Americans, statistics on current African American families, and a discussion on the complexity of class issues in African American communities. The strengths of African American families are explored, as well as the resistance to therapy. Following chapters discuss racial identity and skin color issues, extended family patterns, kinship care, and informal adoption, role flexibility and boundary confusion, socialization and relationships between African American men and women, divorce, remarriage, and stepparenting, and religion and spirituality in African American families. Part 2 focuses on major treatment theories, issues, and interventions. Chapters explore the use of self and value conflicts, major family therapy approaches and their relevance to treating African Americans, and the Multisystems Model. The following part addresses socioeconomic class issues and the diversity of family structures in the African American community. The final part reviews implications for supervision, training, and future research. The need for African American and other ethnic minority faculty, supervisors, clinical staff, and trainees is emphasized. Numerous references.
African Americans; child welfare workers; social workers; cultural competency