Our reading this month will give us a chance to discuss themes related cultural diversity and ways in which culture shapes identity and textures the interaction in psychotherapy. The two articles we adopt as are texts here have some superficial similarities--both cases involve young recent law school graduates: an African American man, in Leary's case, and a Vietnamese woman, in Yi's--who come to find themselves in therapy, reluctantly, it seems, seeking to understand and overcome doubts and anxieties associated with early career challenges. Leary presents a case in which the search for an early career mentor is complicated by ambivalent feelings towards a disabled father, while Yi presents the narrative through the lens of both gender and culture, in which a young woman with a traumatic history has difficulty transcending an identification organized around the valorization of suffering and loss. Leary offers some insights into the adaptive challenges faced by a young African American man seeking to overcome anxieties and self doubts that may be amplified by stereotype threat, while Yi's young patient's self doubts seem to be embedded in the limitations and expectations associated with gender roles within traditional Vietnamese culture. A discussion of the two cases will provide us with an opportunity to reflect on ways in which considerations of the role of culture may contribute to two very different approaches to case formulation.
The readings and discussion have been selected to meet 1.5 hours of the professional development continuing education hour requirements for maintaining licensure for Texas psychologists.
Society members can log in and access the articles here and here.