Continuing Education

Addressing Child Maltreatment by Infusing Multicultural, Feminist Tenets to Standard Clinical Approaches: The Cases of “Bashiir” and “Jacquann”

Rachel Singer, PhD, Renee L. Deboard-Lucas, PhD, and Milton A. Fuentes, PsyD

Multicultural psychology emphasizes the role of social, cultural, and gender forces in creating an individual’s identity; the social and cultural world in which they live; and the psychological strengths that different cultures have to offer. In a complementary way, feminist psychology highlights the importance of collectivist alternatives to mainstream, individualistic thinking in the U.S.; and the identification and dismantling of patriarchal power structures that oppress women. Combining these two in a multicultural, feminist approach to psychotherapy highlights the importance of relating to clients with an understanding of, sensitivity to, respect for, and responsiveness to their cultural identities and life situations. This also involves the therapist building on strengths that come from some cultures bringing a collectivist rather than an individualist orientation to life’s challenges, such as combatting child maltreatment.

To illustrate the potential of a multicultural, feminist approach to psychotherapy in cases of child maltreatment among minority individuals, the present article offers two highly successful case studies. The first involves “Bashiir,” a 16-year-old African, first-generation immigrant young man from Somalia; and the second involves “Jacquaan,” a 15-year-old African American young man. Both individuals were referred to therapy because of poor school attendance and academic difficulties, and associated symptoms consistent with a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) diagnosis. These symptoms derived from the clients having lived in poor, dangerous, high crime communities. A crucial component in both cases was the process by which the therapist employed the multicultural feminist approach to cross age, racial, gender, and socioeconomic-class lines to establish a very strong, trusting relationship between the therapist and the client, and between the therapist and the clients’ families.

Credit 3
Level Intermediate
Price $25.00
Learning Objectives
  1. Identify definitions and conceptualizations of child maltreatment.
  2. Discuss approaches and adaptations to evidence-based approaches to trauma treatment using a multicultural, feminist psychology framework.
  3. Select multicultural, feminist principles to address child maltreatment in their client population.

Singer, R., DeBoard-Lucas, R., & Fuentes, M. (2024). Addressing Child Maltreatment by Infusing Multicultural, Feminist Tenets to Standard Clinical Approaches: The Cases of “Bashiir” and “Jaquann” . Pragmatic Case Studies in Psychotherapy, 20(2).

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