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Culturally Competent Treatments for Asian Americans: The Relevance of Mindfulness and Acceptance-Based Psychotherapies


  • Gordon C. N. Hall,

  • Janie J. Hong,

  • Nolan W. S. Zane,

  • Oanh L. Meyer

Address correspondence to Gordon C. Nagayama Hall, Department of Psychology and Center on Diversity and Community, 1227 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403. E-mail:


[Clin Psychol Sci Prac 18: 215–231, 2011]

The development of effective treatments for Asian Americans is important because treatment disparities continue to exist for this population. Because of their theoretical grounding in East Asian philosophies, mindfulness and acceptance-based psychotherapies appear to constitute promising ways to provide culturally responsive mental health care to Asian Americans. However, in practice, these approaches often reflect conceptions of mental health that are more consistent with Western worldviews. We review points of intersection and divergence between Western-based mindfulness and acceptance psychotherapies and Asian American cultural values. We then propose a culturally syntonic approach that accentuates certain components of mindfulness and acceptance psychotherapies and adapts other components of these approaches to be more consistent with Asian American cultural values.