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 9: Raising the Bar for What Passes as Competence
Raising the Bar for What Passes as Competence
Undoubtedly, the ability to work effectively with African American populations will require a level of skill and competence that is unusual in our profession. Unusual not simply because there are so few mental health professionals of African descent but also because professional clinicians and counselors, irrespective of ethnicity, are not trained in culturally specific models and techniques. Nobles (personal communication) is indeed correct when he asserts that putting “shoe polish” on Freud will not make the theory any more African centered. Likewise, because clinicians of African descent employ traditional forms of therapy, such does not necessarily constitute Africentric psychology.
Throughout this text, the contributors and I have argued that there ...