Despite recent advances in models and instruments to understand the role of a client's cultural background, clinical psychologists are not immune to implicit cultural biases that are potentially damaging to the therapeutic alliance. In this article, I present a Therapeutic Assessment with a young Sicilian woman conducted in a university-based student clinic in Italy. During the assessment, I assumed that because we were both Italians, my client shared my perspective (northern Italian) about family and individual values, which resulted in a therapeutic impasse when I responded on the basis of my individual and culturally shaped view of interpersonal and family relationships without appreciating important differences between my own and my client's microcultures. To overcome the impasse, I had to openly acknowledge such differences and reorient myself to my client's goals. I discuss the core processes involved in such a repair in the context of a cross-cultural psychological assessment.
- Collaborative assessment
- Single case study