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Religions 2012, 3(1), 19-36; doi:10.3390/rel3010019
Article

Psychotherapy with African American Women with Depression: Is it okay to Talk about Their Religious/Spiritual Beliefs?

1
 and 2,*
1 Department of Counseling Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Education, 1000 Bascom Mall, Madison, WI, 53706, USA 2 Clinical Science Center, School of Nursing, University of Wisconsin, K6/ 340600 Highland Ave Madison, WI 53792, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 December 2011 / Revised: 10 January 2012 / Accepted: 10 January 2012 / Published: 18 January 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religions and Psychotherapies)
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Abstract

A growing body of research focusing on African Americans’ mental health is showing that this group relies heavily on their religious/spiritual beliefs and practices to cope with mental health issues including depression. Unfortunately, the psychotherapy literature provides little guidance on how to incorporate religion/spirituality into psychotherapy with African American women. With the growing cultural diversity of the U.S. population, there has been more emphasis on providing patient-centered culturally sensitive care, which involves providing care that is respectful of, and responsive to, individual patient preferences, needs, and values. This paper provides a synthesis of literature that psychotherapists could use to become more culturally sensitive and patient-centered in their clinical practices; that is, to recognize and integrate religion/spirituality into their work with African American women experiencing depression, and possibly other groups with similar needs.
Keywords: African American women; religious; spiritual; psychotherapy; major depressive disorder; depression African American women; religious; spiritual; psychotherapy; major depressive disorder; depression
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Mengesha, M.; Ward, E.C. Psychotherapy with African American Women with Depression: Is it okay to Talk about Their Religious/Spiritual Beliefs? Religions 2012, 3, 19-36.

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