Assessing and Treating Culturally Diverse Clients: A Practical Guide, second edition
Freddy A. Paniagua
SAGE Publications. 161 pages. ISBN-0-7619-1050-6

This publication addresses clinically relevant cultural considerations in the assessment and treatment of clients in psychotherapy practice. Concrete provisions of counterbalances to clinical tools that can result in cultural biases are provided in this informative and well written manual.

The author provides illustrations of culturally relative clinical work with specific client bases from African American, Hispanic, American Indian, and Asian cultures - specific illustrations attributed to the statistical significance of these groups to the total American population at the time the book was written.

While the book provides a focus on working with specific cultural populations, the concepts of cultural relativity and central issues of cultural bias in widely used assessment tools are discussed in a manner that clinicians can bring with them to practice with all clients. This publication is essential in providing clinically relevant information on how culture is integral to human experience. The book also implicitly puts the responsibility on maintaining the checks and balances of considering culture in practice on the therapist and presents these checks and balances as one more part of ethical practice. For example, through differentiating between different models of acculturation indicates how the experience of clients extends beyond what is reported in session, just as dynamics of socio-economic status, gender and family history influence a client, the cultural process has as significant an impact on experience.

This book is relevant to all psychotherapy practitioners as it highlights the relevance of culture to clinical work with clients.

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