Controversy: Culturally Bound Syndromes and Symptoms


Question Description

Great job everyone and please keep the momentum going in Week 4 as we discuss whether there are certain mental health disorders only seen in a certain culture. For example the mass hysteria seen in the 1960's regarding the Beatles. Are there other examples of mass hysteria seen in various cultures and ethnic groups around the world or is mass hysteria only seen in Western cultures? Check out this Medscape slide show: History of mass hysteria for a review of this phenomenon from the Salem Witch Trials to Freudian psychoanalysis: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. As a class, we need to determine whether there are certain disorders that can only be seen in an isolated cultural group (i.e., "Culture-Bound Syndrome"). This is our quest this week.

Controversy: Culturally Bound Syndromes and Symptoms. For this discussion, you will enter into another conversation on an ongoing controversy and contemporary issue regarding abnormal psychology. Specifically, are there psychological syndromes and symptoms that appear only in certain cultures?

Because this topic is not covered explicitly in your course textbook, it is absolutely essential to read the Wen-Shing (2006) article, guidelines 1, 2 and 5 from the “Guidelines on Multicultural Education, Training, Research, Practice, and Organizational Change for Psychologists.”

As you enter into this conversation, carefully consider the following:

·Historical information you read regarding the discovery and identification of symptoms and syndromes that could potentially be bound to specific cultures (e.g., eating disorders: do they look different in different cultural contexts?)

·Relate this information to the current ethical, clinical, and social considerations when working with individuals from diverse backgrounds (e.g., A counselor working with a first generation, Asian-American, female with Anorexia Nervosa might want to consider the familial pressure to succeed and to self-sacrifice when developing a treatment plan)

·Interpret specific symptoms and syndromes as they relate to abnormal behavior from a culturally sensitive standpoint (e.g., An Asian-American client might put more emphasis on physical symptoms of distress depending on level of acculturation)

·Be sure to integrate knowledge of any appropriate cultural considerations psychologists must be aware of when working with individuals from backgrounds dissimilar to their own (e.g., A counselor working with this client might want to consult the literature and to receive consultation as needed. He/she might also want to discuss with the client the degree to which race “enters the room” and the degree to which the client is comfortable with the psychotherapy process and counselor-client match). For an insider's view of how a clinician might approach culture and psychotherapy, consider reviewing the 2014 APA supplemental video Culture, DSM-5, and how it will affect your work, available at (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..

Again, the goal of this discussion forum is to have a single dynamic and respectful conversation about culturally bound symptoms and syndromes. I think you have all been able to accomplish this so far ;-) but keep it up in Week 4. Remember, only post after first carefully reading what all the others within the thread have written.

Tutor Answer

School: UIUC




Running head: PSYCHOLOGY


Institutional Affiliation



Culturally Bound Syndrome and Symptoms
Culture-bound syndrome and symptoms are the collections of signs restricted to a defined
population having specified culture based on particular psychosocial features. Culture-bound
syndrome and symptoms become confined within a specific setting consisting of a distinct
relationship regarding the location. The signs and syndrome termed as culturally bound to
experience grouping from common etiology such as magic, angry ancestors and evil spells;
therefore, clinical pictures vary with regards to cultural differences. With concerns to ...

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