Taming the Tyrant: Treating Depressed Adults Dean Schuyler. London: W. W. Norton & Co., 1998. pp. 256. £22.00 (hardback)
Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy
This is a very timely book, especially for practitioners in the United Kingdom, where the concept of race in psychological analysis is undervalued and is often posited as an illusion. The problems of racial identity in Black people have been poorly represented in the British literature, which conversely is replete with documentation on the high rates of psychopathology in Blacks, the over-representation in the forensic and mental health system, and the high use of neuroleptics and low referral
... or psychotherapy for Black people in Britain. There is a view that dismisses the validity of psychotherapy for Black people, and that race plays a crucial role in the psychotherapy process. Robert Carter's important book documents a thorough review of the impact of racism in mental health in Blacks in the U.S.A., the bigoted world view of the relationship between race and psychotherapy and the limited perspective of interracial or cross racial issues in psychotherapy. He identifies a robust literature that discusses cultural and psychological differences between Blacks and Whites, and demands an approach to the understanding of race in psychotherapy that examines behavioural and cognitive issues, which is driven by theory and supported by empirical evidence. He examines European concepts of personality development, and concludes that in the same way as gender identity is modelled, shaped, learned or identified with, raceappropriate roles are also communicated through socialization, and identifies the dearth of theories about race and identity development. He describes the dynamic racial identity theories developed independently in the U.S.A. in the early 1990s, and posits a theory of racial identity development that is applicable to all racial groups, with additional models for Blacks based on the unique socio-political history of the latter group. The theory involves a perspective about self and about the racial group of origin, and represents a perspective of ego status or differentiation that characterizes the level of maturity of the racial worldview. Carter substantiates his Racial Identity Theory with rigorous and substantial empirical research evidence, and compellingly integrates theory research and clinical insight to an understanding of racial influences in psychotherapy. Studying a variety of Black and White therapist and client groups participating in racially cross-linked trials and using well developed instruments of Racial Identity Attitude Scales for both Blacks and Whites, and carefully crafted methodologies to measure therapists' intentions and clients' reactions, Carter convincingly demonstrates the value of his Racially Inclusive Model of Psychotherapy in the training of mental health professionals, and the facilitation of treatment. He suggests that all people in same race and cross-race pairs are subject to racial influences that do not stem solely from racial group membership, but from the individual's psychological resolution to his or her racial group.