In Perspectives on Intercultural Psychotherapy, Okeke Azu-Okeke explores cultural identity by drawing on his own experience as the first and only Black trainee in an Institute for Group Analysis in London and the impact this has had on his work as a lecturer and supervisor, as well as research from his group analysis sessions over many years to contribute a deeper awareness of the serious aspects of colonialism.
Drawing from the perspective of an Igbo man of the older generation who grew up in two conflicting cultures, the traditional Igbo culture of Nigeria and that of the British colonialists, Okeke provides a thorough study of how cultural identity can influence research and practice in whatever form it takes: the academic, the theoretical, the economic and the psychological. The book discusses how ignoring deeply held social and spiritual values can alienate many trainees and potential clients from participating in the professions of psychotherapy and counselling. It also reflects on the author’s research into traditional Igbo methods of healing and compares these with Western models, especially of group analysis, and discusses how mutual learning can be achieved.
This book will be of great interest to counsellors and psychotherapists; arts therapists; sociologists and anthropologists; policy makers engaged in health and social care policies; practitioners of alternative medicine; social workers and mental health workers at all levels.
Chapter One: Introduction: My search for an identity
Chapter Two: The troubled birth of Nigeria: being an exile in my own land
Chapter Three: Culture, identity and language: exploring my identity as a group analyst and Igbo man
Chapter Four: The connections between language as one of our important cultural attributes and the development of identity
Chapter Five: Talking to my peers — the importance of shared experiences
Chapter Six: Analysis of and reflections on the group discussions
Chapter Seven: Two cultures, one identity: Reflections on my attempts to bring together experiences from two conflicting cultures during my attempt to become an intercultural group psychotherapist
Chapter Eight: Bringing it all together: looking back, moving forward