Culturally adapted cognitive-behavior therapy: integrating sexual, spiritual, and family identities in an evidence-based treatment of a depressed Latino adolescent§


  • Work on this article was supported by NIH Research Grant R01-MH67893 funded by the National Institute on Mental Health to Guillermo Bernal.

  • We thank Lorenzo Lorenzo-Luaces and Julio Santana Mariño for their technical support with graphics and references and Amy Fontenot for her editorial comments.

  • §

    The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not represent the official vies of the NIMH or the NIH.


The article described and illustrated how a culturally adapted cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can maintain fidelity to a treatment protocol while allowing for considerable flexibility to address a patient's values, preferences, and context. A manual-based CBT was used with a gay Latino adolescent regarding his sexual identity, family values, and spiritual ideas. The adolescent suffered from a major depression disorder and identified himself as gay and Christian within a conservative and machista Puerto Rican family. CBT promoted personal acceptance and active questioning of homophobic thoughts in a climate of family respect. CBT enabled identity formation and integration, central to the development of a sexual identity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth, with remission of the patient's depression and better family outcomes. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol: In Session 66:895–906, 2010.