Module 4 Overview - BLACK FAMILY GOALS

Cultural Competency Black Family Goals 

Psychotherapy in the Family Context

Kevin Washington (Mwata Kairi),


This specialization course is intended to introduce participants to the theory and systems of the practice and process of culturally relevant psychotherapy in the Black Family Context. The presenter contends that psychological healing of Afrikan couples and families can be best achieved through the implementation of a psychotherapeutic healing paradigm that is consistent with the essence and experiences of families of Afrikan ancestry. To that end, this workshop advances an Afrikan Centered (culturally sensitive) mental health service delivery modality for Black Couples and Families.

Course Rationale

Human functioning is dynamic and is therefore ever-evolving. This course strives to return to the essence of understanding human functioning with the intent of highlighting the current utility of ancient healing modalities. Social, economic, and political dynamics within a sociocultural context negatively or positively impact human mental and/or psychological wellness. These same dynamics influence human behavior in constructive and destructive ways. When socially, communally, and personally destructive behaviors manifest, mental health professionals are paramount in the treatment (healing) of such behaviors. Mental health professionals facilitate healing through 1) diagnosing the behavior, 2) exploring the etiology (cause) of the behavior, and 3) prescribing treatment (healing) for the behavior. Psychology is the area of study that explores human behaviors and their treatment (healing). Afrikan/Black Psychology examines deeply the essence of being and seeks to align one with their greatest potential. Ubuntu Psychotherapy is a modality for the practical application of the Afrikan/Black Psychology theories. The Cultural Competency workshop is designed to provide a brief overview of Afrikan/Black Psychology through researching the history and recent developments in the field of psychology. This workshop examines the dynamics of human beingness, therapeutic (healing) techniques, and current ethical issues as they relate to Afrikan/Black people. Moreover, mental service delivery techniques are presented.


Course Objectives

Upon the completion of this course, participants will possess the knowledge to:

  1. Communicate (orally and written) an understanding of the historical, philosophical, theoretical systems of Afrikan/Black psychology in psychotherapy.
  2. Demonstrate a fundamental knowledge base of Afrikan/Black Psychology as well as Afrikan traditional healing systems and the terminologies that are associated with the subject.
  3. Discuss how/why Afrikan-centered psychotherapy can be defined as an expression of wisdom and family science that concerns itself with the human functioning of Black people.
  4. Elaborate on the directives that constitute Afrikan and European worldviews as well as a culturally appropriate diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders based on worldview.
  5. Understand, conceptualize, and apply a culturally relevant therapy model with diverse couples and families.

Participant Objectives

The objectives of this course are:

  1. To provide a framework for establishing an operational definition of Afrikan/Black Psychology and Psychotherapy,
  2. To discuss the history and development of culturally competent psychotherapy,
  3. To provide participants with a knowledge base into Afrikan/Black mental health of the Black Family so that they can elucidate the sociocultural and physiological contributors to the etiology of various mental disorders,
  4. To provide participants with a knowledge foundation into Afrikan/Black Psychotherapy so that they will have the skills to identify possible culturally appropriate mental health diagnosis and treatment (healing) modalities of the Black Family,
  5. To increase students’ knowledge base about the application of culturally responsive Psychotherapy in the context of the Black Family.


Instructional Methodology

To ensure that participants gain the maximum benefit from this course, experiential and didactic instructional modalities are utilized. Participants are encouraged to discuss the presented information, as well as develop their case conceptualization for mental health services. Various media forms such as PowerPoint presentations and video materials are employed to enhance the teaching/learning process.