Introduction to Modalities and Culture

What you’ll learn to do: explain different types of treatments modalities used in treating psychopathology and the importance of cultural awareness and competence in working with clients from different backgrounds

Computer-generated image of two women. One woman has her head in her hand and looks distressed, and the other is reaching out and comforting her, like a counselor may do.

Consistent with the biopsychosocial model, there’s no single or simple way to treat a mental disorder, but psychotherapy or medicine or a combination of the two is the most common treatment method. However, even the term psychotherapy is broader than just one-on-one sessions between a therapist and a client. There are multiple treatment modalities in psychotherapy that are used in different contexts such as group therapy, couples therapy, psychoeducation, and family therapy. Usually, different therapists, using different treatment orientations or models may engage clients in these contexts after modifying their techniques to fit these new environments. Each client is unique, and this means that therapists must also be sensitive and aware of cultural elements that clients bring with them to therapy and that therapists also hold (including biases, cultural privilege, and more) that may influence the therapeutic relationship and the outcome of treatment.