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Culturally Responsive Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Pamela A. Hays, Ph.D.

Pamela A. Hays, Ph.D.
January 16, 2010 - Argosy University, Honolulu, 6 CE



Despite enormous growth in the fields of both cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and multicultural counseling, there has been a noticeable lack of collaborative work between these two domains. This workshop will address the need for more culturally responsive evidence-based approaches to psychotherapy by focusing on the integration of multicultural considerations with CBT. Cultural influences will be defined as those outlined by the ADDRESSING acronym (Age and generational influences, Developmental and acquired Disabilities, Religion and spiritual orientation, Ethnic and racial identity, Socioeconomic status, Sexual orientation, Indigenous heritage, National origin, and Gender) (Hays, 2008). 

The workshop will provide an overview of the advantages and potential limitations involved in the integration of multicultural considerations with CBT. Emphasizing a practice-oriented approach, 10 strategies will be described for making CBT more culturally responsive, including case examples representing people of diverse identities and contexts.

Learning Objectives. Participants will be able to:

  1. Recognize 9 key cultural influences on clients, therapists, and the therapeutic relationship;

  2. Avoid the tension that can arise in cross-cultural interactions between therapist and client;

  3. Increase efficiency, accuracy, and credibility in an initial assessment;

  4. Increase the effectiveness of cognitive restructuring with clients of diverse identities;

  5. Incorporate culturally based strengths and supports for use in cognitive behavioral interventions;

  6. Develop culturally responsive homework assignments that facilitate treatment success.

About Pamela A. Hays, Ph.D.

Pamela Hays, author of Addressing Cultural Complexities in Practice and co-editor of Culturally Responsive Cognitive-Behavioral Therapyholds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Hawaii. From 1987-88, she served as an NIMH Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Rochester School of Medicine. From 1989-2000, she worked as a core faculty member of the graduate psychology program at Antioch University Seattle. Her research has included work with Arab women in North Africa, and Vietnamese, Lao, and Cambodian refugees in the U.S. Her articles on cognitive behavior therapy, couple therapy, older adults, multicultural and feminist issues have appeared in Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, the Journal of Counseling and Development, the International Journal of Psychology, and Women and Therapy

Dr. Hays works as a licensed psychologist in rural Alaska providing supervision to Cottonwood Health Center and the Kenaitze Tribe’s Nakenu Family Center, along with her private practice. She serves as adjunct faculty for Antioch University Seattle, and conducts workshops internationally. She currently lives with her husband in the community of Kasilof, population 500 (not counting several thousand moose).

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