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Lecture: Why Intercultural Therapy by Lennox Thomas

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Goldsmiths College

University of London

Professor Stuart Hall Building LG02

New Cross

SE14 6NW

United Kingdom

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Intercultural therapy is a form of psychotherapy aimed at benefiting culturally diverse groups. It recognises the importance of race, culture, beliefs, values, attitudes, religion and language in the life of the client. The concept has been developed by Jafar Kareem in his book Intercultural Therapy. Kareem believed that there are some intrinsic differences between individual human beings, either in their biology, their personality or both, and that both inter- and intrapsychic events profoundly affect an individual's psyche and develop as part of their unconscious life. The events of the external world, then, are real but they are also internalised.

An intercultural therapist must take the external realities of a client's life into account, such as poverty, refugee status, racism, sexism, physical health and physical abilities. Kareem believed that failure to understand cultural issues may lead to major diagnostic and therapeutic errors.

Kareem, Jafar (1999). Intercultural Therapy: Themes, Interpretations and Practice. London: Blackwell Science Ltd


Lennox K. Thomas MA, CQSW, BPC, AFT, UKCP (Fellow). trained in child development, clinical social work, child and family psychotherapy and psychoanalytic psychotherapy. He was Clinical Director of Nafsiyat Intercultural Therapy Centre, and Co- Director of the University College (London) MSc in Intercultural Psychotherapy. He is a co-founder and Consultant Psychotherapist at the Refugee Therapy Centre. Influenced by his work with children and parents in hospitals and probation, he has an interest in attachment, and transgenerational family trauma. “Attachment in African Caribbean Families”, Attachment Theory in Adult Mental Health, eds. A. Danquah & K. Berry, Routledge 2014. “Relational Psychotherapy: The significance of Father”. Psychodynamic Practice, 16, 61-75. (2010). “Parenting roles and the African Caribbean man in post-slavery society” eds. P. Lovejoy & B. Bowser, UNESCO, Africana World Press (2014).

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Goldsmiths College

University of London

Professor Stuart Hall Building LG02

New Cross

SE14 6NW

United Kingdom

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