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date: 23 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter considers issues of culture in couple therapy while examining the current movement toward empirically supported therapies (ESTs). Culture is distinguished from the related but distinct concepts of race, ethnicity, and nationality, and the value of studying culture directly is discussed. Several concerns and criticisms of empirically supported therapy criteria related to diverse couples are presented including a lack of inclusion in studies, the valuing of internal over external validity, and unexamined assumptions of universality. Cultural assumptions behind evidence-based treatments are examined with hypotheses about cultural congruency for diverse groups. Existing scholarly works on cultural aspects of the therapy approaches are highlighted. The clear need to build on existing theoretical and case-based knowledge related to culture in empirical ways is discussed.

Keywords: couples, evidence-based treatment, culture, couple therapy, race/ethnicity, cultural competence

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