Psychotherapy Theories & Practices Final Paper

Psychotherapy Theories & Practices Final Paper

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I believe that psychotherapy is a reciprocal process of engagement, learning and changing that happens in both the client and the therapist, Therefore, when the client comes from a radically different cultural background from our own, as clinicians we must familiarize ourselves and adjust to the nature and conditions of that culture. For a while, the most prominent focal point of psychoanalytic studies, literature and practices in the United States has been the “issues concerning the development of the sense of self and personal identity” and “the importance of the child’s early attachment to the mother and the emergence of the self as an independent identity” (Corsini, 2011, p. 26). Through my experience as a client, student and soon-to-be therapist in the field of psychotherapy, I feel that the deeply embedded Western cultural assumptions of individualism enter into the very landscapes of our psyches, psychoanalytic theories, and psychological norms—ultimately permeating into the therapeutic space and coloring the therapist-client relationships. Alan Roland (2006) mentions how, “Our psychoanalytic emphasis, even in the relational schools, on autonomy of choices, self-direction, verbal communication, an I-self, a relatively constant identity, and much more are far more rooted in modern Western civilization and its culture of individualism than we realize” (p. 455). He implies that this results in pathologizing or seeing non-Western clients from more collectivistic societies as inferior—further adding that even, “Asian therapists trained in the West are not immune to this either as their training often pushes them to disavow aspects of their indigenous self” (p. 454). The Asian-American population is increasingly entering psychoa...


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