Psychotherapy with Black Patients

The purpose of this paper is to suggest a culture-based treatment approach and to define Black (Noun)

and color (Adjective). Unlike in France, there is no final authority for correct usage. Whatever form of a

word used by the greatest number becomes acceptable.


Dr. Williams taught undergraduate and graduate psychology courses as a tenured faculty member for

thirty years. In addition to defining normal and abnormal behaviors, Dr. Williams states that cultures also

prescribe the treatment. Culture-based treatment has always been the primary interest of Dr. Williams.

The uniqueness of the experiences on Black people of African descent who were brought here as

slaves in 1619, makes it vitally important to consider some of the ways these experiences influence the

behaviors of many of their descendants.


The implicit premise is that Black people of Africa’s descent are not “white peoples in color” and

whatever is “good mental health” for the oppressor could not possibly “good menta health” got the

oppressed. These differences have implications for psychotherapy. Cultures develop treatment models

that reflect their own values.

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