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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D.(Cermak Health Services)
Description: This the second edition of a book discusses the various aspects of dealing with African American clients, especially from a family perspective. The first edition was published in 1989.
Purpose: According to the author, "in this second edition, I have kept and updated the most important elements of the first edition, while significantly expanding into many important new areas. The last decade has brought major changes in legislation and public policy initiatives that have directly impacted the lives of many African American families." The book definitely meets the author's objectives.
Audience: According to the publisher, ..."this classic text helps professionals and students understand and address cultural and racial issues in therapy with African American clients." The author, a prominent African American family therapist, author/editor of many books, and professor at Rutgers University, is a very credible authority. If one wants to learn about African American culture and therapy, one must read her work.
Features: The book covers many important areas including cultural and racial context, major treatment theories and interventions, socioeconomic issues, and supervision and training concerns. The author provides many clinical examples in the material, which help to elucidate the concepts. The chapter on "Racism, Racial Identity, and Skin Color Issues" is so good because it gets to the core of many important themes that African American clients deal with on a daily basis. It addresses both racism and internalized shame in a thoughtful manner.
Assessment: This book is excellent. Written by a leading expert in the field who addresses many important areas, it should be required reading for those treating African American clients. The book is easy to read and is highlighted by a plethora of clinical examples. In cross-cultural psychology, it is one of the best books I have ever read. This welcome second edition adds important material and research, building on the solid foundation of the first edition written almost 15 years ago.