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Culture and Psychotherapy

  1. Frederick T. L. Leong,
  2. Brittany K. Lannert

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0247

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Leong, F. T. L. and Lannert, B. K. 2010. Culture and Psychotherapy. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. Michigan State University

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


In its broadest sense, culture refers to the sum of socially learned behaviors, attitudes, values, symbols, systems of thought, and concepts of the universe that distinguish one individual or group of people from another. Culture is both universal and particular; no individual is immune from the effects of culture or is totally dominated by it. A growing movement toward including multicultural perspectives in the development, evaluation, and provision of psychotherapy seeks to recognize the fundamental importance of culture in shaping the incidence, expression, and subjective interpretation of psychological distress, as well as remedy the significant deficits of established therapeutic methods and practices developed according to White European-American, middle-class norms and perspectives.


  • cross-cultural psychotherapy;
  • cultural accommodation;
  • ethnic matching;
  • multicultural competence