Ethnocultural identification in psychotherapy

L Comas-Díaz, F M Jacobsen
Psychiatry 1987, 50 (3): 232-41
Ethnoculturally translocated individuals, members of minority groups, and patients in cross-cultural psychotherapy frequently experience disturbances of their ethnocultural identities. During psychotherapy these patients often attribute ethnocultural qualities to their therapists in a process called ethnocultural identification. This process may be used to foster a therapeutic identification in which the therapist reflects pieces of the patient's conflicted ethnocultural identity. Cases are presented here illustrating the use of ethnocultural identification as an auxiliary therapeutic tool to facilitate coping with changing cultural values and transitional experiences, and to promote the integration of the ethnocultural self into a consolidated sense of identity.

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