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Cross-Cultural Psychotherapy

            It is a time-proven trend that a dominant culture will try to force its methods and what it deems as "normal" on the other cultures that live within its constraints. When the dominant or more mainstream culture expects the non-dominant culture to naturally assume its belief systems, thinking patterns and frames of reference this can lead to suppression and exclusion. If a minority culture does not submissively assimilate its ideas with those of the majority, the majority feels justified in excluding and minimizing this smaller subset of people. Those in the majority position remain unaware that the people who make up the minority have a different cultural way of life that should be valued and included. This lack of awareness can be harmful and painful to minority groups when their cultural styles are neglected by a more prevailing presence. A person's cultural context can shape not only living patterns, but also the development of an inner world and the manner in which one relates to oneself and others. During a time of increasing mobility and migration across countries and continents, there is a high chance that immigrants from Non-Western cultures may seek psychotherapeutic help for themselves or for their children (Maiello, 1999). .
             "Psychotherapy can be defined broadly as a special practice involving a designated healer (or therapist) and an identified client (or patient), with the particular purpose of solving a problem from which the client is suffering or promoting the health of the client's mind. The practice may take various forms, such as a religious healing ceremony, a special experience or professionally defined interaction between the healer and the client. Thus, there exists a broad spectrum of 'psychotherapy,' in terms of basic orientations, methods, and goals to be achieved" (Tseng, 1999). The emphasis on talking about oneself is one main distinctions between psychotherapy and other forms of healing.

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