CULTURE IN PSYCHOTHERAPY PRACTICE.





Practice Aspects By Dr. Cara Alexander



"When a psychologist looks at a non-Western culture through Western glasses, he may fail to notice important aspects of the non-Western culture since the schema for recognizing them are not provided by his science" Azuma (1984)





Western psychology has been beneficial in many aspects of the mental health field but clearly cannot be regarded as a universal approach. Global or local level differences that exist among individuals are requiring psychotherapist to grasp culture in building on the future of psychology. Cross-cultural psychology extends beyond the traditional Western psychological concept and acknowledges that variances exist among individuals across and among cultures. This can be beneficial in increasing the effectiveness of psychological treatment, research and education. In my practice, I recognize that culture cannot be separated from those I work with, as it is the primary influencer of human behavior. It is important to understand how culture is tied to thinking and perception of the world. Additionally, culture is at the root of an individual and collective identity. A ‘one size fits all’ can not be adopted when providing therapy to individuals for no two people have the exact same measurements or blueprint. Taking a cultural psychology approach allows psychotherapists to be sensitive to individual differences needed to offer effective treatment.