Multicultural Orientation to Address Problematic Systems & Group Process in Therapy Groups
Eric C. Chen, PhD, (Diversity Committee Chair), hosted a one-hour presentation by Martin Kivlighan, PhD and Karen Tao, PhD, entitled “How do we address problematic systems and group process in therapy groups? A Multicultural Orientation (MCO) perspective.” The MCO framework is a relational and process-oriented approach, which focuses on the interpersonal aspects of cross-cultural interactions in therapy – how people are with one another (Owen, Tao, Leach, & Rodolfa, 2011). Recently, this framework has been applied to examine group therapy interactions and how the three dimensions of the MCO framework facilitate productive dialogue among group members or thwart genuine conversations (Kivlighan & Chapman, 2018; Rigg, Kivlighan, & Tao, 2020) . In this presentation, the application of the Multicultural Orientation (MCO) Framework to the practice of group therapy will be reviewed, with specific attention to interventions aimed at addressing problematic systems and group processes as they unfold in the group. Presenters will provide several clinical examples of how to engage a multicultural orientation to address systems of oppression and power as they emerge in therapy groups. Attendees will practice utilizing an MCO framework to address cultural processes as they emerge in hypothetical group scenarios. Attendees will gain knowledge of the application of MCO to group therapy and practice interventions informed by an MCO perspective.