Practice Brief: Cultural Considerations in Applying Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups with Serious Mental Illness

Prepared by Jessica Maura, PhD and Sarah Kopelovich, PhD

Over 100 million people in the US identify as belonging to a racial and/or ethnic minority group. Individuals with a serious mental illness who also identify as a racial/ethnic minority tend to receive poorer quality of care, have less access to services, and experience higher dropout rates and poorer outcomes when compared to their White counterparts1. These differences have spurred initiatives to integrate cultural perspectives into evidence-based treatments.

This practice brief is intended to help clinicians —particularly those who administer Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for individuals with serious mental illness—to enhance their cultural awareness and incorporate culturally-relevant practices into their formulation and treatment approach.

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