Acceptance and Mindfulness Techniques as Applied to Refugee and Ethnic Minority Populations with PTSD: Examples From Culturally Adapted CBT
Cognitive and Behavioral Practice
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2013
Pages: 33 - 46
Source ID: shanti-sources-68791
Collection: Mindfulness, Diversity, and Social Justice
Abstract: In this article we illustrate how we utilize acceptance and mindfulness techniques in our treatment (Culturally Adapted CBT, or CA-CBT) for traumatized refugees and ethnic minority populations. We present a Nodal Network Model (NNM) of Affect to explain the treatment's emphasis on body-centered mindfulness techniques and its focus on psychological flexibility. We explain the definition of mindfulness that guides our treatment, and we outline a typology of mindfulness states and show how many of the techniques in our treatment can be analyzed by these categories. We argue that acceptance and mindfulness are therapeutic for refugees and minority populations for several reasons. These include their increasing psychological flexibility, decreasing somatic distress, decreasing rumination, serving as emotion regulation techniques, decreasing the attentional bias to threat, and forming part of a new adaptive processing mode (which in CA-CBT centers on psychological flexibility). We describe the specific ways we teach acceptance and mindfulness with Latino and Southeast Asian refugee populations and present case examples of the treatment of a traumatized Latino and Cambodian patient.