A relational approach to clinical practice with African-American clients
A relational approach to social work practice offers an opportunity to enhance the delivery of mental health services to African-American clients. In addition to an understanding of race as a social construction, the relational social worker possesses the capacity to build trust, display authentic empathy, create mutuality, and engage in critical self-reflection, all of which can contribute to effectively meeting the unique challenges of working with Black clients. The potential disruptive impact of the social worker's countertransference reactions involving racial stereotypes, inaccurate assumptions about racial identity and unacknowledged fear, and guilt about racial and other cultural differences is acknowledged through the use of case examples. The compatibility of relational social work practice with core cultural values of African-Americans is underscored.
Winbush, V. R. (2014)., A relational approach to clinical practice with African-American clients, in J. B. Rosenberger (ed.), Relational social work practice with diverse populations, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 81-94.
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