Indigenous Treatments: Cuento Therapy

Cuento therapy is a group treatment modality that uses Spanish-language folktales (cuentos). Historically, storytelling has played an important role in the education of children by relaying social morals, values, rules, and customs, as well as by providing a functional means of coping. Storytelling, which has theoretical underpinnings in social learning theory, is used in cuento therapy to enhance emotional and behavioral outcomes by modeling appropriate thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors.

Giuseppe Costantino and his colleagues developed cuento therapy for use with Puerto Rican youth and conducted several studies to document its efficacy. In cuento therapy, the selected stories have ethnic themes and characters with whom children can identify. Because the children's difficulties are viewed as the result of acculturation stress, weak traditional cultural values, and loss of ...

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