Multicultural Couple Therapy


Edited by: Mudita Rastogi & Volker Thomas

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  • Chapters
  • Front Matter
  • Back Matter
  • Subject Index
  • Part I: Overview

    Part II: Intersections of Diversity

    Part III: Ethnicity and Couple Therapy

  • Dedication

    To three extraordinary couples: Vir Bala and Balram Rastogi Arnawaz and Jimmy Havewala Karen and Richard Wampler

    —Mudita Rastogi

    To my wife Edie Pierce-Thomas, who taught me how to survive and thrive in a cross-cultural relationship, and to all the couples with whom I have had the privilege to work over the years who granted me the space to learn about and appreciate cultural and racial differences.

    —Volker Thomas


    View Copyright Page

    List of Tables and Figures

    Foreword: Good Counsel in Turbulent Times

    Douglas H.Sprenkle

    In producing the first volume specifically devoted to multicultural couple therapy, Mudita Rastogi and Volker Thomas have made an important contribution to the MFT literature. Since the typical “family” therapist does much more work with couples than with families that include children (Sori & Sprenkle, 2000), a volume that hones in on couple dynamics in multicultural therapy fills a significant gap. It is also very timely.

    In the past three decades, there has been an exponential increase in the non-White population in the United States, and it is estimated that by 2050, Whites will be in the minority (Reuters, February 12, 2008). There are actually more Muslims in this country today than there are Presbyterians and Episcopalians combined (Eck, 2001). By 2010, there will likely be more Muslims in the United States than there are Jews (Al-Krenawi & Graham, 2005). Interracial and interfaith marriages have grown exponentially (see Greenman, Young, & Johnson, this volume). While still stigmatized in many places, public acceptance of same-sex couple relations has grown markedly, as have the numbers of same-sex couples seeking therapy (Nichols & Shernoff, 2007; Pew Research Center, 2006). The therapist who is not prepared to work in a multicultural world is, to put it bluntly, not prepared.

    When I became a credentialed couple therapist in 1973, I was certainly ill-prepared. My graduate program, even though located in a major city, taught me nothing about multiculturalism, and in the early years I—a Euro-American male therapist—worked mostly with Euro-American couples. Yet even before I knew or had read anything about multicultural therapy, and even when I was working with ethnically homogeneous couples, I had some sense that their conflicts were rooted in “culture clashes” based on family of origin differences. One of my first cases was with a Euro-American couple in which the wife grew up in a family whose members frequently yelled and screamed at each other and then 15 minutes later were embracing. The husband's background was an emotionally reserved family where conflict was expressed indirectly and emotions were generally stuffed. What Christine thought of as voicing mild concerns, Arthur interpreted as over-the-top antagonism. Not surprisingly, this led to a withdrawer–pursuer dynamic that I then did not have the tools to address. Furthermore, given my family background that favored directness, I was more comfortable with Christine and, in retrospect, was much less empathic with Arthur—who felt somewhat “ganged up on” by his wife and me.

    The couple and I were ethnically similar, and we even happened to belong to the same Protestant denomination: Presbyterian. Yet cultural dimensions loomed large in our work. Now, after years of working with a more diverse clientele, I think wistfully about the relative simplicity of this case from a multicultural standpoint. Like many therapists today, I am frequently seeing couples with differing ethnicities, sexual orientations, religions, and major life experiences such as immigration. The complexity of these cases, and the challenges to developing a strong therapeutic alliance with both partners and devising effective therapeutic strategies, are sometimes staggering. So, even though I am a very experienced therapist, I found this volume to be very helpful. It faced these complexities head on and helped me to sort them out and make them more manageable.

    I believe this volume has a number of strengths. First, the authors assume a broad understanding of culture so that clients are understood in the “entirety of their context.” At the macrolevel, culture includes racial, ethnic, national, sexual preference, and religious differences; however, it also includes, at the microlevel, a range of cognitive (e.g., values, beliefs, and attitudes), affective (e.g., emotional styles, affect regulation and attachment), and behavioral (e.g., communication patterns, gender role behavior) dimensions (Greenman, Young, & Johnson, this volume; Sevier & Yi, this volume). There is also diversity within diversity. One cannot assume that because we know people are Black or Jewish, for example, they will conform to a stereotype. Multicultural counseling is what the editors call a “multilayered reality.” The rich and diverse topics covered in the volume are a witness to the breadth of this understanding of culture.

    Just trying to understand an individual client on all of these dimensions is challenging enough. But to learn to work with the permutations and combinations of partners who differ on these variables can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, without oversimplifying the challenge, this volume demonstrates that this work can be both effective and satisfying. Closely related to this broad view of culture, the editors and the authors make it abundantly clear that multiculturalism is a “main course” in therapy and not some optional “dessert” that can be added to therapy training as an afterthought, or confined to a course on training in cultural competence.

    Second, the volume makes it abundantly clear that multicultural couples therapy is not just learning about diverse clients (developing cultural knowledge). It also includes therapist (or educator or researcher) variables and belief systems. Throughout this volume, the reader is challenged to be aware of his or her own culture and how this impacts how one views clients, reacts emotionally to them, develops alliances with them, makes clinical decisions, and implements clinical strategies. The editors were also courageous enough to describe some of their therapeutic “failures” when they did not recognize the ways in which their own cultures blinded them. This gave me permission to reflect on my own failures and to normalize them.

    Multicultural therapy, then, challenges the therapist to put as much energy into “knowing thyself” as learning about “other” cultures. It also entails being humble in the face of the clients' expertise about their cultures, asking respectful “not-knowing” questions, and making appropriate self-disclosure about one's limitations and preconceived ideas. In the spirit of being “personal,” all the authors in this volume clearly identify themselves, their cultural heritage, and their context. This unusually rich self-description by the authors underscores the importance of the therapist's own culture in multicultural couple therapy.

    Third, the volume is more cohesive than many edited volumes in that all authors follow the same outline. Each addresses the same nine topics (delineated in Chapter 1) related to theory, research, practice, and training. This common outline facilitates comparisons across topics and prevents the disjointed nature of some edited volumes.

    Fourth, unlike many clinical books, the editors asked all authors to report on recent research on their themes. Hence, where possible, opinions are grounded in data. Even more impressive from my perspective is that authors report on the application of four evidence-based models (Emotionally Focused Therapy, Brief Strategic Family Therapy for Couples, Traditional Behavior Couple Therapy, and Integrative Behavioral Couple Therapy). These are the four couple therapy approaches with the strongest empirical records. In each case, the authors offer strong evidence that these approaches can be adapted to, and work effectively in, multicultural contexts.

    Fifth, the case examples in the chapters are very compelling and make the treatment principles come alive. That each of the authors has a depth of experience in working with a given population is quite evident, as is their passion for the communities they serve. I thought the cases were challenging enough to keep a senior clinician interested and thirsty for new knowledge, but also clear enough to keep a novice excited. No easy feat!

    Sixth, the volume is a treasure trove of information that the reader can keep as a handy reference. Each chapter includes exercises for clinicians, as well as reflection suggestions and additional resources, such as films, Web sites, and music, along with a comprehensive reference list.

    In summary, Mudita Rastogi and Volker Thomas's book can be seen as a wise guide to an extraordinarily complex and challenging task—multicultural couple therapy. Depending on one's cultural preference, you can think of it as a trusted friend, a Native Elder, a sage aunt or uncle, the embodiment of a growing tradition, or whatever metaphor represents good counsel in turbulent times.

    Douglas H.SprenkleProfessor of Couple and Family Therapy Purdue University
    Al-Krenawi, Krenawi., & Graham, J. R. (2005). Marital therapy for Arab Muslim Palestinian couples in the context of reacculturation. The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families, 13, 300–310.
    Eck, D. (2001). A new religious America. San Francisco: Harper.
    Nichols, M., & Shernoff, M. (2007). Therapy with sexual minorities. In S. R.Lieblum (Ed.), Principles and practice of sex therapy (
    4th ed.
    , pp. 379–415). New York: Guilford Press.
    Pew Research Center. (March 22, 2006). Less opposition to gay marriage, adoption, and military service. Retrieved July 7, 2008, from
    Reuters (February 12, 2008). Whites to become minority in U.S. by 2050. Retrieved July 8, 2008, from
    Sori, C. F., & Sprenkle, D. H. (2004). Training family therapists to work with children and families: A modified Delphi study. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 30, 497–496.


    Numerous individuals have helped us as we worked on this book. We are very thankful to Kassie Graves, our editor at SAGE, for supporting this project from the very beginning and for making it possible. Veronica Novak, Carla Freeman, and Susan Jarvis have our deep gratitude for their patience and attention to detail. All of them have been a pleasure to work with.

    The authors who contributed to this book have written remarkable chapters. We are thankful for their research acumen, their clinical insights, and their wisdom regarding multicultural couple therapy. We would especially like to express our deep gratitude to Dr. Douglas Sprenkle for being generous and gracious in writing the Foreword to this book.

    We would like to thank our reviewers for giving us valuable feedback at the inception of this project. Their thoughtful comments helped us to expand the scope of this book and make the content more focused:

    Gonzalo Bacigalupe

    University of Massachusetts

    Steven A. Meyers

    Roosevelt University

    Megan J. Murphy

    Iowa State University

    Neal Sheeley

    Iowa State University

    Robert Werner-Wilson

    University of Kentucky

    Jon Winek

    Appalachian State University

    I (Mudita Rastogi) would like to thank the following people:

    Dr. Volker Thomas has been an amazing friend and coeditor. His knowledge, caring, and passion are evident throughout this book. I feel very fortunate to have collaborated with him and have learned a great deal from him in the process.

    My mentors, colleagues, and students have contributed to this book by engaging me in discussions on multiculturalism and teaching me to think critically about diversity. I especially want to thank Drs. Rachana Johari, Satish Saberwal, Gwen Sorell, Karen Wampler, Richard Wampler, and Liz Wieling for years of support and friendship. I am humbled by the lessons my clients have taught me by sharing their lives and struggles with me. To all of them, I owe deep gratitude.

    My parents, Vir Bala and Balram Rastogi; family members Arnawaz and Jimmy Havewala, Manish, Meenal, Neha, and Megha; and friends across many countries continue to inspire and encourage me. I am deeply indebted to them for their love and warmth. My life partner Aspi Havewala has always cheered me on. He inspires me with his creativity and vision. I can't thank Aspi enough for the love and sense of humor that sustain me, and for being so generous with his technology skills. My sons Zubin and Romil fill my life with love, Legos, Star Wars, and soccer. They challenge me to be more present in the moment and they make the journey more joyful.


    I (Volker Thomas) would like to thank the following people:

    Dr. Mudita Rastogi had the confidence in me to be her partner and coeditor for this project. Her patient leadership and gracious friendship have made even the tedious parts of completing such a wonderful book a great joy.

    I am indebted to my colleagues, students, and clients from different cultures who have inspired and challenged me in my humanity to look beyond cultural stereotypes. They allowed me to struggle with them through the process of me learning and appreciating cultural and racial differences. As a German immigrant, I am particularly grateful to all my Jewish friends and colleagues who permitted me to work through my guilt and shame associated with the Holocaust. I am thankful to the many African American colleagues, students, and clients for their patience with my ignorance of the enormous power slavery and its aftermath have had and continue to have on the relationships between African Americans and Whites in this country. Finally, I want to thank all members of the various minority groups represented in this book for having to put up with the power and privilege that I as a White straight male still hold by default in this culture.

    Finally, I want to thank my parents, Rosemarie and Emil Thomas, for the opportunities they provided me to become who I am, and for enduring the pain my emigration caused them. My life partner of the past 25 years, Edie Pierce-Thomas, has always supported me in living across continents and cultures, and helped me to stay connected with my German roots. I am grateful to my “German” daughter Tina, who has stuck with me despite moving away from her across the big ocean when she was only 10 years old, and to my “American” children, Erika and Philip, who continue to teach their father “proper American English.”

  • About the Editors

    Mudita Rastogi, PhD, LMFT, is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the American School of Professional Psychology, Argosy University, in Schaumburg, Illinois. She obtained her PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy from Texas Tech University. She has also earned undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from the University of Delhi and University of Bombay, India. Dr. Rastogi has published in the areas of family and couple therapy, cross-cultural and gender issues, and South Asian families, and is editor of the book Voices of Color(SAGE, 2005). She is Associate Editor for the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. Dr. Rastogi has over 15 years of clinical experience in both India and the United States with a highly diverse client population, and is in private practice in Arlington Heights, Illinois, as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Her clinical interests include couples, families, adolescents, cultural and gender issues, domestic violence, and trauma. She frequently presents workshops nationally and internationally, and also conducts training and consultation in the area of leadership. Additionally, Dr. Rastogi maintains an interest in volunteering and partnering with grassroots, not-for-profit organizations. She is an AAMFT Clinical Member and Approved Supervisor, and a founding member of the Indian Association for Family Therapy.

    Volker Thomas, PhD, is Associate Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy in the Department of Child Development and Family Studies at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. He received his PhD in Family Social Science with a specialization in marriage and family therapy from the University of Minnesota and an MSW from the University of Kassel, Germany. Since 1993, Dr. Thomas has been on the faculty of the COAMFTE-accredited doctoral MFT program at Purdue University and served as its director from 1999–2003. Dr. Thomas has been on the editorial boards of the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, The Family Journal, and Counseling and Values. He served as the editor-in-chief of the AFTA Newsletter from 1998–2002. His research interests include family assessment, family therapy with economically disadvantaged families, gender and multicultural perspectives in family therapy, family therapy with children, ethical and professional issues, and supervision in family therapy training. Among his many publications are Family Assessment: Integrating Multiple Perspectives (with M. Cierpka and D. H. Sprenkle; Hogrefe, 2005) and Clinical Issues With Interracial Couples: Theory and Research (with T. Karis and J. Wetchler; Haworth Press, 2003). Dr. Thomas has also published over 60 refereed journal articles and book chapters and has extensive experience as presenter at national and international conferences. He is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Indiana and has a small private practice in West Lafayette. He is a Clinical Member and Approved Supervisor of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).

    About the Contributors

    Sheila Addison, PhD, LMFT, is a core faculty member in the MA Counseling Psychology program at John F. Kennedy University, where she heads the couple and family therapy specialization. She has published on sexual identity in supervision, therapeutic interventions with minority gays and lesbians, and interventions with mixed-orientation relationships. She has presented at national MFT conferences on sexual identity and supervision, and at a national legal conference on same-sex domestic violence. Her private practice is also aimed at GLBT clients and couples of all kinds. Her other academic interests include queer theory, feminism, size acceptance/health at every size, and the whole spectrum of gender presentations. In her spare time, she studies American Tribal Style and other forms of belly dance.

    Rhea V. Almeida, MS, PhD, LCSW, founder of IFS, is a family therapist and Columbia graduate. She has 25 years' experience as a teacher, therapist, consultant, speaker, and author, and is the mother of two daughters. She is the creator of the Cultural Context Model. Dr. Almeida is the author of Expansions of Feminist Theory Through Diversity, and Transformations in Gender and Race: Family and Developmental Perspectives, and the co-author of Transformative Family Therapy: Just Families in a Just Society. She has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, and on CNBC, National Public Radio, USA Today, and Pure Oxygen. Dr. Almeida was born in Uganda. When Idi Amin seized power in 1970 and decreed the exile of all citizens of Asian Indian heritage, she came to the United States. She has dedicated herself to bringing the connection between justice and healing to her chosen profession.

    Sam Berg is Professor of Counselling at Briercrest Seminary, Caronport, Saskatchewan, and has a part-time contracted counseling practice at The Caring Place, a counseling agency in Regina, Sasaktchewan, where he see couples, families, and individuals, as well as supervising students. He is a Clinical Member and Approved Supervisor of the AAMFT, and currently serves as President of the newly formed Saskatchewan Division of Marriage and Family Therapy. He is interested in the use of narrative therapy practices in clinical work, as well as in teaching and in the supervision of trainees. Prior to coming to Caronport, he served as pastor of a church in Ottawa, Ontario. Outside interests include golfing, hiking, movies, and playing with his granddaughter as much as possible.

    Maria Bermúdez, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy in the Department of Child and Family Development at the University of Georgia. Her work is based on social constructionist, feminist-informed, and culturally responsive approaches to therapy, research, and supervision. She is originally from Honduras, and her research and clinical work addresses conflict resolution and communication processes among Latinos/as, the effects of immigration on Latino couples and families, and experiential approaches to narrative therapy, spirituality, and creativity in therapy.

    Nancy Boyd-Franklin is a Professor in the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers University. She is the author of Black Families in Therapy: A Multisystems Approach (Guilford Press, 1989); Reaching Out in Family Therapy: Home-Based, School and Community Interventions (with Dr. Brenna Bry; Guilford Press, 2000); Boys Into Men: Raising Our African American Teenage Sons (with Dr. A. J. Franklin; Plume, 2001); and the second edition of Black Families in Therapy: Understanding the African American Experience (Guilford Press, 2003). She is also an editor of Children, Families and HIV/AIDS (Guilford Press, 1995).

    Thomas Stone Carlson, PhD, is the program coordinator of the Couple and Family Therapy Program at North Dakota State University. He has published several articles and book chapters on narrative therapy, and is currently the coinvestigator of a grant that seeks to provide culturally responsive therapy services to the Latino community through the program's Family Therapy Center.

    Anthony L. Chambers, PhD, is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychology, Research Program Coordinator for The Family Institute and the Center for Applied Psychological and Family Studies, and a Licensed Clinical Psychologist on staff at The Family Institute at Northwestern University. He received his BA from Hampton University, and completed his MA and PhD in clinical psychology at the University of Virginia. He completed his internship and postdoctoral clinical residency at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, specializing in the treatment of couples. Dr. Chambers teaches an undergraduate course titled “Marriage 101” about mate selection and the intricacies of committed, romantic relationships. Dr. Chambers's program of research focuses on the impact of mate selection on relationship development and functioning. He has a particular interest in understanding the unique factors that explain the disproportionately low marriage rate and high divorce rate among African American couples. Dr. Chambers has made frequent appearances in the mass media, talking about the challenges facing today's couples and their marriages.

    Deborah Coolhart, PhD, LMFT, is an Assistant Professor of Community and Human Services at SUNY's Empire State College in Syracuse, New York. She is also a private practice family therapist and supervisor. Deb's primary clinical focus is working with queer people and their loved ones, particularly transgender people undergoing gender transition. She has published articles and presented numerous workshops on transgender issues and coming out in family therapy. Her research interests include family processes around queer youth and coming out, stress and the gender transition process, and PTSD as it relates to substance use and combat experience. Academically, Deb focuses on infusing issues of diversity and oppression into the wide range of courses she teaches in human services.

    David Córdova Jr. earned his master's degree from Alliant International University and is a doctoral candidate in the marriage and family therapy program at Michigan State University. He currently serves as a research intern at Behavioral Assessment Inc. A student member of the National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse, his interests are in developing, implementing, and evaluating culturally appropriate prevention interventions for high-risk families of color. David's current research projects include examining the effectiveness of an evidence-based prevention intervention for HIV, hepatitis, and substance abuse among high-risk Latino youth in a community agency setting and establishing the psychometrics of a psychosocial stress instrument for Latino youth. He was recently awarded the Michigan Association for Marriage and Family Therapists' Student of the Year Award.

    Manijeh Daneshpour is a Professor and the Director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota. She teaches marriage and family therapy graduate courses and, as a licensed marriage and family therapist, works with individuals and families in her private practice. She provides supervision to postdegree marriage and family therapy students and mentors supervisors in training. She is from Iran and identifies herself as a Muslim feminist. She has done research about the lives of immigrant families, especially Muslim couples and their struggles once they come to the United States. She works with Muslim immigrant and refugee families in Minnesota, and has published articles and has done many presentations related to this topic. Her research interests and her publications are also in the areas of diversity, social justice, third-wave feminism, and the impact of trauma on family functioning.

    Jann M. Derrick is a Registered Family Therapist, a member of the Canadian Psychological Association, and a Clinical Member and Approved Supervisor in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Jann is the mother of three children and the grandmother of six. She is of Mohawk heritage and has been in practice for 30 years in several urban and rural communities in British Columbia. Jann provided groundbreaking work with residential school survivors, presents workshops internationally, and publishes in the areas of relationships, Native trauma, and two metasystems—the box and the circle. Jann also has knowledge of traditional First Nations healing methods. Jann has worked at Round Lake Treatment Centre, and also facilitated a national Aboriginal Focus Group that created a Code of Ethics for the Aboriginal Healing Foundation. Jann was awarded the John Banmen Award for outstanding service and contribution to the Family Therapy Profession in BC.

    Sol D'Urso, MA, is a marriage and family therapist intern in the San Diego area. She immigrated to the United States from Argentina in 2000. Sol earned her master's degree in marital and family therapy from the University of San Diego. She currently serves as the student/associate representative for AAMFT.

    Ana Rocío Escobar-Chew is an international Fulbright scholar from Guatemala. After becoming a licensed clinical psychologist in her native country, she came to the United States to specialize in marriage and family therapy. She is currently a master's level student pursuing her doctoral degree at Michigan State University. Her thesis in Guatemala involved the creation and implementation of a parenting program, adapted to decrease parental anxiety levels. Her clinical work has been committed to clients from disadvantaged groups, living in multi-stress situations, especially from Latino populations. She has presented at national and international conferences. Ms. Escobar-Chew is currently pursuing multiple research projects as a member of Dr. Rubén Parra-Cardona's research team. This includes exploring the life experiences of immigrant Cuban families as well as evaluating the effectiveness of treatment groups for domestic violence. She is also preparing the implementation of a communication program for Latino couples in Lansing, Michigan.

    Paul S. Greenman, PhD, is a Professor of Clinical Psychology at the Université du Québec en Outaouais in Gatineau, Québec, Canada, and a practicing psychologist at the Ottawa Couple and Family Institute in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He specializes in EFT for couples in his teaching and clinical practice and he conducts research on the emotional and interpersonal lives of individuals from a range of cultural backgrounds. Dr. Greenman continues to be a major contributor to publications on EFT for couples and the relational dynamics of children and adolescents from diverse cultural backgrounds. Dr. Greenman is also active in the research and application of psychological treatments for individuals and couples suffering from physical illnesses. He is currently directing a project on the integration of psychotherapy into the cardiac rehabilitation program at the Montfort Hospital in Ottawa.

    Olga E. Hervis, MSW, LCSW, is the coauthor and developer of Brief Strategic Family Therapy (BSFT)©™ and Family Effectiveness Training (FET). BSFT is a nationally recognized, award-winning, evidence-based approach to reducing problem behaviors, eliminating substance abuse risk factors, and strengthening families. She is also the founder of the Family Therapy Training Institute of South Florida, which has been training clinical staff of mental health service providers throughout the country to implement BSFT. She holds a master's degree from Barry University and has done postgraduate training in New York, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, and Florida, where she is an Approved Supervisor. She is also a clinical member of the AAMFT, a member of AFTA, a Certified Criminal Justice Specialist, and a Master Addictions Counselor. She has won numerous awards for her family therapy clinical research work, including the 2000 Exemplary Model in Substance Abuse Prevention from SAMHSA. She is widely published, both nationally and internationally.

    Kendal Holtrop is a doctoral student in the Marriage and Family Therapy program at Michigan State University. Her clinical and research interests focus on cultural competence, intersections of privilege and oppression, and underserved populations, with a special focus on Latino/a subgroups. She is currently involved in research projects exploring processes of accountability and change among Latino men who batter, and culturally adapting an evidence-based parenting intervention for Latino/a populations. She has also had the opportunity to publish and present at professional conferences in relation to her work in these areas. Kendal is contributing to this dialogue on multicultural couple therapy from the perspective of a White female graduate student from the United States. She would like to thank Dr. Rubén Parra-Cardona for his continued mentoring, which has supported her in promoting social justice from this position.

    Sheena Horsford is a second-year master's student in the marriage and family therapy doctoral program at Michigan State University. She demonstrates her commitment to social justice through her clinical work, research, and national presentations. Her clinical interests focus on underserved, multistressed populations as well as community-based outreach to families in poverty. In her clinical work, she provides parenting education, family therapy, and advocacy to parents who have temporarily lost custody of their children. She is also involved in a culturally adaptive research project aimed at providing evidence-based parenting interventions to families of color.

    Susan M. Johnson, EdD, is one of the originators and the main proponent of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) for couples, now one of the best validated interventions for couples in North America. She is a Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Ottawa and Director of the Ottawa Couple and Family Institute and the Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy. Dr. Johnson is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, the Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy, and the Journal of Family Psychology. She is also a Research Professor in the Marital and Family Therapy Program at Alliant University in San Diego.

    Silvia M. Kaminsky, MSEd, LMFT, CAP, is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Certified Addictions Professional in the State of Florida. She holds a BA in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MSEd. from the University of Miami. She has 22 years of clinical experience, the past 18 years in private practice in South Miami, Florida. Ms. Kaminsky has worked as a clinical supervisor in both agency settings and her private practice. She has trained with Olga Hervis at the Center for Family Studies at the University of Miami and is a BSFT Master Trainer and Supervisor for the Family Therapy Training Institute of Miami. Ms. Kaminsky served as President of the Florida Association for Marriage and Family Therapy from 2001–2003 and is currently serving a three-year term (2007–2009) as a Board Member of AAMFT. She is also an AFTA member.

    Margaret L. Keeling, PhD, is an Assistant Professor and Director of Clinical Training of Marriage and Family Therapy at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. She is a narrative therapy practitioner who combines art, expressive writing, and other experiential elements into her therapy practice. She has also combined these elements into innovative interventions for research purposes. She received her PhD in marriage and family therapy from Texas Tech University in 2005. As a long-time Texas resident, Dr. Keeling has conducted therapy with numerous Latino (predominantly Mexican American) individuals, couples, and families. Her primary clinical and research focus is on the intersection of gender, culture, and power as it influences therapeutic practice and utilization. She is also a practicing artist.

    Shalonda Kelly is an Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers University. She received a dual PhD in urban studies and child and family clinical psychology from Michigan State University in 1998. Dr. Kelly publishes empirical and clinical manuscripts related to racial, ethnic, and cultural issues, and couple relationships. She has received NIH and Rutgers University funding to study racial and cultural factors in clinic-referred and university populations. She conducts workshops and consults with organizations working with African Americans, people of color, couples, children, and families. She is a licensed psychologist who conducts and supervises couple and family therapy from a cognitive-behavioral and/or systems orientation.

    Larry Jin (Kwok Hung) Lee is a staff psychotherapist in psychiatry at Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco. He received his graduate training at the University of California, Berkeley. He has taught at San Francisco State and the University of California, Berkeley, in their Graduate Schools of Social Welfare. He believes that creating a safe space, especially for oppressed and marginalized patients' narratives of survival and resilience, is at the heart of culturally literate practice. He is a part of the Kaiser Best Practices Workgroup for cultural diversity, planning conferences and training for mental health clinicians. Mr. Lee is a keen writer, with his previous chapter being on “Taking off the Mask: Breaking the Silence—The Art of Naming Racism in the Therapy Room.” He is committed to the challenge of transforming psychology from another system of oppression into a liberatory one. He has two children, aged 9 and 18 years.

    Israela Meyerstein, LCSW-C, LMFT, a clinical social worker in the Baltimore community, has been in private practice for 30 years. She treats couples, families, and individuals of all ages for a variety of problems, with a special interest in families coping with medical illness and spirituality. As co-founder of the Baltimore Jewish Healing Network, Ms. Meyerstein co-led Spiritual Study/Discussion groups for those struggling with medical illness. Ms. Meyerstein directed the Family Therapy Program at Sheppard Pratt Hospital for 12 years. An Approved Supervisor in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, Ms. Meyerstein has trained mental health professionals of all disciplines and skill levels in both academic and clinical settings. She has lectured and published extensively in the field of family treatment, training, and family life education.

    José Rubén Parra-Cardona is an Assistant Professor in the Marriage and Family Therapy program in the Department of Family and Child Ecology at Michigan State University. He is currently involved in research focused on the cultural adaptation of evidence-based parenting interventions for Latino/a populations and collaborates with an international research team in carrying out this line of research in the United States and Mexico. Dr. Parra-Cardona is also a core faculty member of the MSU initiative on violence against women ( As part of this initiative, he conducts research with Latino men referred to abuser treatment programs. Dr. Parra-Cardona serves on the editorial boards of three leading journals in the fields of family therapy and family studies, the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, Family Process, and Family Relations. He has published in the areas of cultural competence, cultural identity, adult and adolescent Latino/a parenting, and cultural adaptation of evidence-based parenting interventions.

    Jo Ellen Patterson is a Professor in the Marital and Family Therapy program at the University of San Diego. She is also Clinical Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Psychiatry at UCSD Medical School. She is the author of three books and numerous articles.

    Sandra Reynaga, MA, is a bilingual Marriage and Family Therapist Intern in the San Diego area. Ms. Reynaga is a first-generation Mexican American. Ms. Reynaga earned her bachelor's degree from the University of California, San Diego, in psychology and a master's degree in marital and family therapy from the University of San Diego.

    Mia Sevier, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in Human Services, an interdisciplinary department focused on helping students acquire social science knowledge and applied intervention skills, at California State University, Fullerton. She regularly teaches courses on subjects such as counseling theories and techniques as well as research methods for program evaluation. Mia received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles, specializing in couples and couple therapy. Her scholarly interests include issues of culture, cultural competence, communication strategies, and interventions for couples. As an ongoing research member of the UCLA/UW Couple Therapy lab, she collaborates with Andrew Christensen, a founder of Integrative Behavioral Couple Therapy, to investigate the outcome and process of couple therapy.

    Kathleen A. Shea, PhD, holds a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Miami and a master's in counseling from the University of Dayton (Ohio). Dr. Shea's experience includes university teaching, research, and administration, health care marketing, project management, and consulting. She has consulted with educational and human services organizations on organization development, assessment, and evaluation projects. She has a special interest in organization development from a structural-functional point of view. She is a former Vice President of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) and served on the board of directors for National Small Business United (NSBU). She is currently the President and Florida Coordinator for Living Values: An Educational Program, Inc., a global character education program supported by UNESCO and UNICEF.

    Lin Shi, PhD, LMFT, is Associate Professor and Program Director of the master's program in Marriage and Family Therapy accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education within the School of Family, Consumer, and Nutrition Sciences at Northern Illinois University. She received her doctorate from Texas Tech University. Dr. Shi is a clinical member and an Approved Supervisor of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Her current research and clinical interests include trauma and cross-cultural marital functioning from an attachment theory perspective. In addition, she is interested in clinical application of attachment theory in various cultural contexts. Dr. Shi has published in Family Process, the American Journal of Family Therapy, and the Journal of Family Psychotherapy, among others.

    Linna Wang, PhD, was born and raised in China. She lived through the infamous Great Cultural Revolution and the early stage of the economic reform, and experienced and witnessed how social and political forces impacted marriages and families. As one of the new Chinese immigrants described in the chapter, she migrated to the United States for advanced degrees and professional development. She is teaching in a graduate program of marriage and family therapy. Her researches focus on the global psychologies and the impact of immigration process on families. She has extensive experience working with and advocating for Chinese immigrants and their families. It is her belief that immigrants and host countries mutually benefit each other through a constant cultural evolution, a process that produces a third culture that is richer than any two combined. She lives in San Diego with her extended family.

    Jean C. Yi, PhD, is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and is mentored by Karen L. Syrjala, PhD. She is also an affiliate postdoctoral fellow in the Biobehavioral Cancer Prevention and Control Training Program offered through the University of Washington's Department of Health Services, under the guidance of Donald L. Patrick, PhD. Dr. Yi received her doctorate in 2007 through the Department of Psychology at the University of Washington and was mentored by William H. George, PhD. She continues to work with Andrew Christensen, PhD, at the University of California, Los Angeles, on research related to a randomized clinical trial of two behavioral treatments for relationship distress. Her research interests include couples and couple therapy, race and ethnicity, health, and the intersections of these three domains.

    Marta Y. Young, PhD, is a Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Ottawa in Canada. She also has a private practice providing assessment and treatment services to immigrants and refugees. Dr. Young specializes in cross-cultural psychology, and she conducts research on the acculturation and well-being of immigrants and refugees.

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