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The Angry Black Woman: The Impact of Pejorative Stereotypes on Psychotherapy with Black Women

The Angry Black Woman: The Impact of Pejorative Stereotypes on Psychotherapy with Black Women In the aftermath of slavery and the resulting social, economic, and political effects, Black women have become the victims of negative stereotyping in mainstream American culture. Such stereotypes include the myth of the angry Black woman that characterizes these women as aggressive, ill tempered, illogical, overbearing, hostile, and ignorant without provocation. Symptoms presented by Black women during mental health treatment may reinforce this myth. However, many of the negative characteristics of the angry Black woman developed in response to external stressors and historical factors. Black women also have a unique experience with and expressions of anger that shape the presenting symptoms interpreted by the mental health clinician. This myth and corresponding negative stereotypes significantly affect Black women intrapsychically, interpersonally, and are likely to influence the efficacy of mental health treatment. Understanding and treatment of Black women in a mental health context should be influenced by the cultural norms and sociopolitical dynamics affecting these clients. Successful mental health treatment requires cultural competence and clinicians who are well prepared to navigate the inherent complexities of culture with clients. Awareness of the angry Black woman mythology, including its genesis, manifestations, and the unique experiences of Black women, may raise the standards of cultural competence for clinicians and provide more successful treatment outcomes in working with this population. A case example illustrates the assiduity essential to practicing in a culturally competent manner. A client is presented from a traditional psychotherapeutic perspective and then viewed through a lens that integrates psychotherapeutic practice with conscious awareness of the mythology and stereotypes impacting Black women. Implications for culturally relevant practice are discussed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Social Work In Public Health Taylor & Francis

The Angry Black Woman: The Impact of Pejorative Stereotypes on Psychotherapy with Black Women

Social Work In Public Health , Volume 29 (1): 8 – Jan 2, 2014
8 pages

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References (32)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
1937-190x
eISSN
1937-1918
DOI
10.1080/19371918.2011.619449
pmid
24188294
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In the aftermath of slavery and the resulting social, economic, and political effects, Black women have become the victims of negative stereotyping in mainstream American culture. Such stereotypes include the myth of the angry Black woman that characterizes these women as aggressive, ill tempered, illogical, overbearing, hostile, and ignorant without provocation. Symptoms presented by Black women during mental health treatment may reinforce this myth. However, many of the negative characteristics of the angry Black woman developed in response to external stressors and historical factors. Black women also have a unique experience with and expressions of anger that shape the presenting symptoms interpreted by the mental health clinician. This myth and corresponding negative stereotypes significantly affect Black women intrapsychically, interpersonally, and are likely to influence the efficacy of mental health treatment. Understanding and treatment of Black women in a mental health context should be influenced by the cultural norms and sociopolitical dynamics affecting these clients. Successful mental health treatment requires cultural competence and clinicians who are well prepared to navigate the inherent complexities of culture with clients. Awareness of the angry Black woman mythology, including its genesis, manifestations, and the unique experiences of Black women, may raise the standards of cultural competence for clinicians and provide more successful treatment outcomes in working with this population. A case example illustrates the assiduity essential to practicing in a culturally competent manner. A client is presented from a traditional psychotherapeutic perspective and then viewed through a lens that integrates psychotherapeutic practice with conscious awareness of the mythology and stereotypes impacting Black women. Implications for culturally relevant practice are discussed.

Journal

Social Work In Public HealthTaylor & Francis

Published: Jan 2, 2014

Keywords: Black women; stereotypes; anger; psychotherapy; cultural competence

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