This chapter summarizes the definitions, means, and research of adapting psychotherapy to clients’ cultural backgrounds. This chapter begins by reviewing the prevailing definitions of cultural adaptation and providing a clinical example. We present an original meta-analysis of 65 experimental and quasi-experimental studies involving 8,620 patients. The omnibus effect size of d = .46 indicates that treatments specifically adapted for clients of color were moderately more effective with that clientele than traditional treatments. The most effective treatments tended to be those with greater numbers of cultural adaptations. Mental health services targeted to a specific cultural group were several times more effective than those provided to clients from a variety of cultural backgrounds. This chapter recommends a series of research-supported therapeutic practices that account for clients’ culture, with culture-specific treatments being more effective than generally culture-sensitive treatments.
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