chapter  17
12 Pages

Family Systems Therapies with Appalachian Families

WithJason P. Austin, Benjamin J. Evans, Ruoxi Chen

Being culturally competent in the conceptualization and practice of family therapy entails more than reading textbooks, attending workshops, and participating in diversity workshops. Every family has a unique cultural of their own which is nested inside the community culture which is nested inside the regional culture and so on and so on like Russian nesting dolls. The task of working with individuals, couples, and families is always cross-cultural, and from a second-order cybernetic perspective, it involves setting a context that is conducive to joining a family system that perhaps does not want to be joined. This happens with not only marginalized and underserved populations but also the population of the dominant narrative. English is the primary language of the United States, but it has many variations in the dialect from region to region. The purpose of this chapter is to show how to work with a regional variation of what could be considered the dominant culture of the United States, namely, White Americans of European descent that reside in the Appalachian region of the United States. Just like working with members of minority cultures, working with variations of the dominant culture involves cultural sensitivity during the important joining process.