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Culturally Responsive Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy in Practice

In Culturally Responsive Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy in Practice, Pamela A. Hays demonstrates her change-oriented approach to psychotherapy, adapting mainstream cognitive-behaviour therapy (CBT) to fit the client's cultural identity, context, and preferences. Key aspects of culturally responsive CBT include acceptance of core cultural beliefs, an emphasis on culturally related strengths and supports, and validation of the client's experiences of oppression with consideration of the need for environmental change. The culturally responsive thought-change process involves reconsideration of the helpfulness of thoughts rather than their rationality or validity. Culturally congruent homework is developed in close collaboration with the client. Using everyday, culturally relevant language to describe and explain CBT, Dr. Hays works with a young African American Christian woman to recognise the client's culture as a potent source of strength and motivation.
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About the Author

Pamela Hays holds a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Hawaii, a BA in psychology from New Mexico State University, and a certificate in French from La Sorbonne in Paris, France. From 1987 through 1988, she served as a National Institute of Mental Health postdoctoral fellow at the University of Rochester's School of Medicine in Rochester, New York. From 1989 through 2000, she worked as core faculty member of the graduate psychology program at Antioch University in Seattle, Washington. Since 2000, she has worked in community mental health and private practice in rural Alaska. Her research has included work with Tunisian women in North Africa, and Vietnamese, Lao, and Cambodian people in the United States. She is co-editor with Gayle Iwamasa of the book Culturally Responsive Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: Assessment, Practice, and Supervision (2006); author of the second edition of Addressing Cultural Complexities in Practice: Assessment, Diagnosis, and Therapy (2008); and author of Connecting Across Cultures: The Helper's Toolkit (in press). She is a licensed psychologist who currently works in private practice in Soldotna, Alaska, and part-time as a supervisor for the Kenaitze Tribe. She continues as adjunct at Antioch University and teaches workshops internationally.

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