Using a multicultural lens to understand illnesses among Haitians living in America

Guerda Nicolas, Angela M. DeSilva, Kathleen S. Grey, Diana Gonzalez-Eastep

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Currently, ethnic and racial minority individuals represent a large proportion of the U.S. population, and researchers expect that they will represent the majority of the population by 2050. This shift in U.S. demographics calls for a greater awareness and integration of cultural issues into the assessment and treatment of ethnically and linguistically diverse clients. This article examines the unique beliefs and manifestations of illnesses among Haitians in connection with the American Psychological Association's (APA, 2002) Multicultural Guidelines. The authors use a common culture-bound syndrome, Séizisman, to illustrate the cultural beliefs, assessment, and treatment of illnesses among Haitians. In so doing, they demonstrate how to incorporate the APA Multicultural Guidelines into treatment with clients of diverse cultural and racial backgrounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)702-707
Number of pages6
JournalProfessional Psychology: Research and Practice
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Assessment
  • Cultural beliefs
  • Cultural issues
  • Haitian
  • Illnesses
  • Mental health
  • Multicultural
  • Seizisman
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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