Though important strides have been made in the last three decades in the research efforts on African Americans, there continues to be a lack of significant new understanding about the impact of the African American culture on the therapy process and dynamics. This volume provides an in-depth analysis of the counseling literature pertaining to African American clients. Specifically, the analysis includes a review of the different variables (client, counselor, counseling process, and assessment) that have received the bulk of research attention. This sets the stage for the presentation of a counseling model for African American clients. The authors discuss philosophical premises upon which the model is based and suggest specific counseling strategies and interventions related to the model. Case study material is integrated throughout the chapters, focusing on individual and group approaches. This volume is an important work for counseling professionals as well as for students in social work and counseling programs.
Chapter 3: Understanding African American Mental Health: The Necessity of New Conceptual Paradigms
Understanding African American Mental Health: The Necessity of New Conceptual Paradigms
Our continued interest in providing psychotherapeutic services to African American populations has stimulated a dramatic increase in the number of presentations and publications that concern themselves with providing mental health services to people who are culturally different. Given the substantial increase in the amount of literature, presentations at professional meetings, and training seminars designed to help clinicians work more effectively with African American populations, it is surprising to note how many clinicians and academicians feel less than fully comfortable working psychotherapeutically with African American people (Allison, Crawford, Echemendia, Robinson, & Knepp, 1994).
A number of reasons could be cited for this ...