Inside the therapy room: A case study for treating African American men from a multicultural/feminist perspective

Erika R. Carr, Lindsey M. West

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Even though previous research has demonstrated that as many as 7% of African American men will develop depression in their lifetime (Black Mental Health Alliance for Education and Consultation, Inc., 2003), issues of underreporting due to a variety of systemic factors are likely minimizing this prevalence rate. When African American men do present for treatment in mental health settings it is important for clinicians to be aware of their clients' salient culturally specific, subjective experiences. For clinicians, there is a distinction between knowing the relevant cultural factors for African American men struggling with depression and actually applying a culturally responsive treatment. The current article aims to illustrate the application of a multimodal, theoretically integrated psychotherapy with an African American male client struggling with depression. Specifically, careful attention to the African American male client's gender and racial identities were explored, guided by the "invisibility syndrome" theory (Franklin & Body-Franklin, 2000). In addition, brief psychotherapy interventions within cognitive-behavioral, systems, and interpersonal traditions were used. Lastly, the relevant therapist qualities of being a White female with a feminist stance, informed the therapeutic alliance, mutual-risk taking, and empowerment interventions. This case study seeks to raise awareness of the nuanced treatment considerations for African American men living with depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-133
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Psychotherapy Integration
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2013


  • African American men
  • Depression
  • Feminism
  • Multiculturalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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