on October 30, 2009
Unless I needed this for a class I would not have bought it because of the price. However, having it and reading it has created a different story and meaning.
This book is extremely useful in dealing with cross cultural issues and dynamics insofar as they deal with mental health issues, particularly with regard to diagnoses. The chapters are more or less in alignment with DSM categories. This makes it very easy if you have a client who presents with issues that are culturally driven. The way the book is organized makes it extremely helpful in applying DSM criteria to cultural phenomenology. Frankly, and although I am not extremely well read in the field of diagnostic criterion, I have read other texts and books on cross cultural dynamics and this is by far one of the best I have ever encountered.
As persons or practitioners we simply cannot afford to misinterpret a person as to their intent, which is easy if we rely solely on our own cultural experiences and biases. We need something like this book to make mental health diagnostics and even cultural understanding possible. Otherwise the dynamics can get very complex and pass right by us if we are not careful.
Personally, I think psychosis is psychosis no matter what culture you are in. But what drives a person to psychosis, for example, is going to be different in different cultures. Simply labeling them does very little good unless you need a code to get paid. Furthermore, not all cultures are like what we call American because even here it can vary greatly between states; and in some of our larger cities, even between neighborhoods. There are just certain things that are going to be avoided or passed over unless we have some sort of understanding that permits us to better comprehend the true nature of the dilemma that presents itself.
This book is to me one of those essential components that permits understanding by allowing for the development of a greater ability to help those in need.