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EP20 Keynote 06 - Therapeutic Oppression or Liberation: The Case for Multicultural Counseling and Therapy (MCT) - Derald Wing Sue, PhD

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Topic Areas:
Multicultural |  Keynotes
Evolution of Psychotherapy |  Evolution of Psychotherapy 2020
Derald Wing Sue, PhD
Course Levels:
Master Degree or Higher in Health-Related Field
1 hour
Audio and Video
Original Program Date:
Dec 11, 2020
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Traditional Western European therapy operates from hidden assumptions: (a) disorders reside in individuals, (b) disorders are departures from conventional (statistical) norms, (c) psychological principles derived from the dominant group are universally applicable, and (d) therapy consists of a series of strategies and techniques detached from the cultural context. When imposed upon clients of color, however, they potentially produce therapeutic harm. Rather than free and liberate, they may oppress and silence culturally diverse clients. MCT scholars and practitioners operate from different assumptions: (a) mental disorders are often sociopolitical constructions, (b) all treatments and behaviors cannot be isolated from their cultural contexts, (c) the individual is not necessarily the psychosocial unit of operation, and (d) cultural universality must be balanced with cultural specificity. When seen from this perspective, MCT represents true “healing” and liberation.


Educational Objectives:

  1. Identify three culture bound values of therapy
  2. Define the concept of "cultural oppression"
  3. Describe how microaggressions from therapists may impede the therapy process

*Sessions may be edited for content and to preserve confidentiality*




Derald Wing Sue, PhD's Profile

Derald Wing Sue, PhD Related Seminars and Products

Derald Wing Sue, Ph.D in Counselling Psychology, is Professor of Psychology and Education in the Department of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Teachers College and the School of Social Work, Columbia University. He was the co-founder of the National Multicultural Conference and Summit, co-founder and first President of the Asian American Psychological Association, past presidents of the Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity and Race, and the Society of Counseling Psychology.  Derald has served as Editor of the Journal for Counseling and Development, Associate Editor of the American Psychologist, Editorial Board Member to The Counseling Psychologist, Asian American Journal of Psychology, Asian Journal of Counselling, and serves on the Council of Elders for Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology.

Derald is a pioneer in the field of multicultural psychology, microaggression theory, racial dialogues, multicultural counseling and therapy, and the psychology of racism/antiracism.  He is author of four best-selling texts: (1) COUNSELING THE CULTURALLY DIVERSE:  THEORY AND PRACTICE, (2) OVERCOMING OUR RACISM:  THE JOURNEY TO LIBERATION, (3) MICROAGGRESSIONS IN EVERYDAY LIFE:  RACE, GENDER AND SEXUAL ORIENTATION, and (4) RACE TALK AND THE CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE: UNDERSTANDING AND FACILITATING DIFFICULT DIALOGUES ON RACE. As evidence of Dr. Sue's stature in the field, two studies of multicultural publications and scholars concluded, Impressively, Derald Wing Sue is without doubt the most influential multicultural scholar in the United States today.