Contemporary Family Therapy

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 315–327 | Cite as

Working with Families from the Indian Sub-Continent: An Indo-German Experience*

  • Barbara Standke-Erdmann


Whereas most Western European therapists and clients consider emotional distance and abstinence as desirable and conducive in the therapeutic process, this may not always be the case with clients from India. Cultural components such as the contrast between linear and cyclic world-views and the traditional view of the psychologist as an advisor in India present a challenge to professionals with a Western background. Some factors such as the situation of women in society and seemingly too close familiy ties can mean that a Western therapist fails to promote the changes an Indian client is desiring for his or her family. However, besides cultural awareness and caution, one of the most helpful tools in work across cultures is curiosity in its most positive sense and the readiness to be surprised by ones’ clients.


family therapy concept of therapist cyclic and linear world-view responsibility for self culture India. 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Barbara Standke-ErdmannHamburgGermany

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