In most societies, members of a culture have attempted to help each other in times of trouble with various types of healing methods. Demoralization an individual experience related to a group phenomenon - responds to certain elements shared by all psychotherapies. This article has three objectives: (1) to review the theoretical background leading to our current views on culture and demoralization in psychotherapy, (2) to discuss the methodological challenges faced in the cross-cultural study of demoralization and psychotherapy, and (3) to describe the clinical applications and research prospects of this area of inquiry. Demoralization follows a shattering of the individual's assumptive world and it is different from homeostatic responses to a stressful situation or from depressive disorders. Only a few comparative studies of this construct across cultures have been undertaken. The presentation of distress may vary widely from culture to culture and even within the same culture. To avoid 'category fallacy', it is important to understand the idioms of distress peculiar to a cultural group. A cultural psychiatrist or psychotherapist would have to identify patient's values and sentiments, reconstruct his/her personal and collective ambient worlds, and only then study demoralization. The limitations of our current diagnostic systems have resulted in methodological challenges. Cultural clinicians should consider using a combination of both 'clinimetric' and 'perspectivistic' approaches in order to arrive at a diagnosis and identify the appropriate intervention. The presenting problem has to be understood in the context of the patient's individual, social and cultural background, and patients unfamiliar with Western-type psychotherapies have to be prepared to guide their own expectations before the former are used. Future research should identify the gaps in knowledge on the effectiveness of cultural psychotherapy at reversing or preventing demoralization.

Culture and Demoralization in Psychotherapy

GOSTOLI, SARA
2013

Abstract

In most societies, members of a culture have attempted to help each other in times of trouble with various types of healing methods. Demoralization an individual experience related to a group phenomenon - responds to certain elements shared by all psychotherapies. This article has three objectives: (1) to review the theoretical background leading to our current views on culture and demoralization in psychotherapy, (2) to discuss the methodological challenges faced in the cross-cultural study of demoralization and psychotherapy, and (3) to describe the clinical applications and research prospects of this area of inquiry. Demoralization follows a shattering of the individual's assumptive world and it is different from homeostatic responses to a stressful situation or from depressive disorders. Only a few comparative studies of this construct across cultures have been undertaken. The presentation of distress may vary widely from culture to culture and even within the same culture. To avoid 'category fallacy', it is important to understand the idioms of distress peculiar to a cultural group. A cultural psychiatrist or psychotherapist would have to identify patient's values and sentiments, reconstruct his/her personal and collective ambient worlds, and only then study demoralization. The limitations of our current diagnostic systems have resulted in methodological challenges. Cultural clinicians should consider using a combination of both 'clinimetric' and 'perspectivistic' approaches in order to arrive at a diagnosis and identify the appropriate intervention. The presenting problem has to be understood in the context of the patient's individual, social and cultural background, and patients unfamiliar with Western-type psychotherapies have to be prepared to guide their own expectations before the former are used. Future research should identify the gaps in knowledge on the effectiveness of cultural psychotherapy at reversing or preventing demoralization.
Cultural Psychiatry
75
87
John M. de Figueiredo;Sara Gostoli
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/243876
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