Culture Matching

Therapists need to be aware of, and sensitive to, the cultural backgrounds and religious values of their clients as well as the cultural values that may be communicated in the therapists' own stories. Researchers such as Malgady and Costantino (2003) have explored the value of matching client and care-provider of the same ethnicity as well as tailoring services to match cultural values, beliefs, and mores. With 5- to 8-year-old Puerto Rican children they told cuentos (Puerto Rican folktales), and with 12- to 14-year-old Puerto Rican adolescents they used stories of heroic male and female Puerto Ricans to offer cultural models, foster ethnic pride, model achievement-oriented behaviors, and provide coping strategies for common stresses of poverty, minority status, and racial prejudice. Being sensitive to culture, cross-cultural stories and cultural values can have a big influence on both therapist-child rapport and the impact of metaphors.

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