Synopses & Reviews
Stressing culture, community, and choice, this book speaks to therapy for the new poor, a people poor more because they have lost their spirit than because they lack bread. The author's perspective arises from the theory and techniques of structural family therapy, but he goes beyond that view to reach for meaning in people's identities, traditions, and legacies. He urges therapists to recognize and work with spiritual forces in the poor and to avoid opportunistic practical solutions that assume that they are too poor, hungry, and downtrodden to care about meaning and purpose. Going beyond touting the importance of recognizing diversity in race and ethnicity, Aponte shows specifically how this can be done in therapy. Transcripts of his clinical work bring warmth, life, and reality to this work. These vignettes show the subtle process of connecting with people, respecting their experiences and their values, helping them locate strengths and resources both within themselves and within the community, and making the changes that will restore health not only to individual families but also to the community. Often this therapy takes place at the interface of family and school or agency or child protective services; rather than seeing these bureaucracies as unmoveable, the author makes them part of the cultural change. He also proposes a training program to enhance awareness of diversity of race, culture, and values in the person of the therapist.
"This is not another how-to book, although it is practical and applied. Instead, it is a book that addresses the tough situations and quandries facing therapists working with clients who differ from them in culture, ethnicity, lifestyle, or beliefs." --
Includes bibliographical references (p. 249-252) and index.