Cbt & Multicultural Counseling

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Cognitive Behavior Therapy & Multi-cultural Counseling

As treatment providers of diverse populations who have a particular awareness and focus on cultural responsiveness, Freeman & Ronen (2007) indicate it is important for therapists to be able to apply CBT with cultural proficiency and develop original strategies within the context of the client’s culture. Freeman & Ronen (2007) state that a number of studies support the use of CBT with clientele of diverse cultural backgrounds with anxiety; depression; clients of lower income levels; gender and feminist issues; sexual orientation; religion and spirituality; the elderly and common concerns among this population; and people with disabilities to address social-emotional issues. Corey (2009) suggests there are several strengths of cognitive behavioral approaches from a diversity perspective and if therapists understand the core values of their culturally diverse clients, they can help clients explore these values and gain a full awareness of their conflicting feelings. Furthermore, “CBT was ranked the least likely to be culturally biased among the treatment assessment approaches” (Freeman & Ronen, p. 116). Due to its basic nature and the way CBT is practiced, Corey (2009) suggests it is inherently suited to treating diverse clients. As Freeman & Ronen (2007) indicate, CBT is a goal-oriented, skill-based, and time-limited therapy that focuses on conscious processes and specific behavior changes. “Some of the factors that Spiegler identifies that makes CBT diversity effective include individualized treatment, focusing on the external environment, active nature, emphasis on learning, reliance on empirical evidence, focus on present behavior, and brevity” (Corey, p. 301).

Freeman & Ronen (2007) illustrate that when clinician and client define problems and goals, it’s critical to consider the behavior within the norms of the client’s culture and the dominant culture, additionally; examining...
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