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Fam Process. 2009 Jun;48(2):292-309.

Commentary: On the wisdom and challenges of culturally attuned treatments for Latinos.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, USA.


In this commentary, I outline the common and distinctive components in the cultural adaptation studies in this special issue and compare cultural adaptations with universalistic and culture-specific perspectives. The term cultural attunement may be more reflective than cultural adaptation insofar as the cultural additions in these studies make the treatments more accessible by adding language translation, cultural values, and contextual stressors. These additions most likely enhance the level of engagement and retention in therapy for Latino families. The work ahead requires a deeper examination of the cultural theories of psychological distress and the cultural theories of change in therapy. A final proposal is made in this commentary for considering the bicultural aspects of the cultural adaptation or attunement enterprise, insofar as the clinical research encounters with immigrants are bicultural encounters. These encounters can reach beyond the notion of cultural "adaptation" of mainstream evidence-based treatments to ethnic minorities and present a unique opportunity for mutually enriching bicultural integration of theory, research, and practice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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