Cultural Adaptations: A Complex Interplay Between Clinical and Cultural Issues


Address correspondence to Wei-Chin Hwang, Department of Psychology, Claremont McKenna College, 850 Columbia Avenue, Claremont, CA 91711. E-mail:


[Clin Psychol Sci Prac 18: 238–241, 2011]

Psychotherapy is a Western method of treating mental illness. Culturally adapting psychotherapy to better meet the needs of ethnic minorities is an important endeavor. Hall, Hong, Zane, and Meyer. (2011) did an excellent job of reviewing the intersection and divergence between Asian culture and mindfulness and acceptance-based therapies. They also point out that some therapies can be naturally syntonic with Asian American cultural values and belief systems. This is especially important given cultural differences between the East and West. Later, I provide an overview of the complexities involved in adapting treatments for diverse clients. I also discuss the importance of deconstructing stereotypes and understanding the complex interplay between clinical and cultural issues. Individualization of treatment for diverse clients can be achieved through culturally formed practice.