Review of Relevant Literatures
The objective of this project is to culturally adapt CBT, an evidence-based treatment, to enhance its effectiveness in meeting the needs of immigrant populations. Experienced clinicians regularly adapt psychotherapies to address variations in gender, personality style, level of functioning and other client characteristics that may affect the therapeutic process. Cultural adaptation similarly requires adjusting the treatment to the cultural environment of the client to make it more appropriate. This requires an inclusive understanding of culture that accounts for language, values, beliefs and symbols, but also incorporates the environment of culture, which includes historical experiences, inter- and intra-group dynamics, and contemporary challenges faced by specific ethnocultural groups. As the literature reviews that follow indicate, the immigrant groups under consideration have cultural environments that share some similarities based on their status as ethnic minorities in Western contexts, but also have unique factors that are highly relevant to their experiences of immigration, settlement and associated stressors. CBT has already proven effective in meeting the needs of such populations, but has not been effective as it has been with the populations for whom it was originally developed. Cultural adaptation will identify what elements of the treatment may or may not be relevant and useful for immigrant populations and what additions must be made to facilitate these populations receiving fuller benefit. The manuals that emerge from this process will serve as a template for the development of culturally adapted interventions for immigrant communities. This document presents the literature reviews that are a starting point for adapting CBT for use with Spanish speaking, Anglophone Caribbean and Francophone Caribbean populations in the Greater Toronto Area.
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