Clinical Methods in Transcultural Psychiatry
American Psychiatric Press Inc.
Samuel O. Okpaku
Publication Date :
1 Jan 1998
As the international community shrinks into a global village, cultures mix, meld, and blur, presenting psychiatric professionals with new challenges: a growing number of patients of different nationalities, ethnicities, and backgrounds. These sociocultural identities, so integral to personality, must be recognized and taken into account when diagnosing and treating mental illness. This is the premise behind transcultural psychiatry. On the leading edge of an emerging discipline, this compendium by respected clinicians from around the world is one of the first books to offer an in-depth look at transcultural psychiatry. Concise yet comprehensive, Clinical Methods in Transcultural Psychiatry draws on a wealth of case studies and relevant clinical experience to provide practicing clinicians with a basic foundation of "culturally informed" psychiatry on which they can build. Logically organized into six sections, the book begins with an overview of transcultural psychiatry and then moves to the important topic of cultural psychiatry and mental health services. Treatment approaches are addressed next, followed by highlights of recent research; special topics, such as how religious and supernatural beliefs affect behavior; and discussions and recommendations on education and training in transcultural psychiatry. The final section emphasizes families in cultural transition, focusing on the needs of women and children. Although transcultural psychiatry has never been more relevant than today, most psychiatric textbooks only briefly address it. This fascinating work -- covering everything from the impact of magic and religion in Italy to class, culture, and religion in London's inner city -- familiarizes readers with the principles and practices of transcultural psychiatry, focusing on the significance of cultural factors in the causes and meanings behind the pain and suffering -- as well as the healing -- of mental illness.