Ethnic Validity, Ecology, and Psychotherapy: A Psychosocial Competence Model

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This book has grown out of our individual experiences as well as our shared ones; out of our differences as well as our commonalities; and out of our conflicts as well as our convergences. Among us there are dif- ferences in gender; in individual, family, community, and racial histo- ries; in life experiences, identities, and career paths; and even in reasons for writing this book. Of course there are also commonalities. We enjoy one another's company; we enjoy working together; and we feel en- riched from our collaboration. We have written this book out of our complete selves, not just our professional selves. The original objective of our book was to present to practitioners of psychotherapy, trainers of psychotherapists, and psychotherapy stu- dents a model of conducting psychotherapy that actively acknowledges and builds upon the ethnic and racial heritage of both therapist and client. We have found that to fulfill that objective we need also to acknowledge and build upon the psychological ecology of the therapist and client; and we also need to outline the kind of research necessary if we are to develop and evaluate the perspectives presented here. Those perspectives are embodied in what we have come to call the ethnic validity model (EVM) of psychotherapy.