Case Examples of Racial Dyads
In the preceding chapters, we have discussed how one’s membership in either the culture-defining group (CDG) or in the non-culture-defining group (NCDG) provides an ecological framework for understanding the dynamics of interpersonal relationships. In exploring these dynamics within the context of psychotherapy, we have made four critical points. The first was that ethnicity is always a variable to be accounted for and processed in analyzing any therapeutic relationship, even when two people from the same ethnic/racial group have formed a therapist-client relationship. The second point was that NCDG and CDG statuses are ascribed and denote one’s ecology and connote one’s level of power and influence in society. In any heterogeneous society, one group tends to set the standards for that society. These standards do not typically reflect the diversity of that society or culture, but rather the values, attitudes, beliefs, and meanings of the more powerful group. The third point was that the legacy of slavery continues to shape enculturated messages concerning the power base, intellect, and humanness of America’s NCDGs. Furthermore, these messages have significantly contributed to the nature of relationships between blacks, between blacks and whites, between whites, and between members of other groups. The fourth critical point was that there are therapeutic gains and losses associated with all dyadic patterns. In any relationship, there is something that one can potentially gain from that interaction and something that one is at risk of losing. The gain or the loss can refer to self-esteem, sense of confidence, affirmation of coping skills, or other attributes.
KeywordsAdult Child World View Therapeutic Relationship Racial Identity Black Person
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