“THEY DON'T COME IN!” Stories Told, Lessons Taught About Poor Families in Therapy


  • Invited for inclusion in this special issue of the Journal. where an earlier version of this paper was presented at the Teaching Conference Series on Child Poverty, May 22, 1996


Although it is widely accepted that socioeconomic status affects mental health, poverty and class remain neglected areas informal clinical training. Filling these gaps are certain narratives, stories told about poor people, that question their responsibility, cognitive competence, and moral sensitivity. Integrating community experience and relevant research findings into clinical training is proposed as an antidote to such stories and a means of realigning clinical priorities and improving services offered to poor clients.