African American women experience multiple factors that increase their risks of developing mental health disturbances, particularly depression and panic episodes. Effective treatment of these disorders requires adaptation of evidence-based treatments to demonstrate cultural competency. Adapting theoretical approaches to meet the cultural needs of African American female clients by incorporating their preferred coping methods into treatment is one example of genuine regard and culturally responsive clinical practice. In this paper, we provide a review of relevant literature describing unique considerations for working with African American women, as well as a case illustration to highlight the implementation of culturally adapting cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in the treatment of panic episodes and depression with an African American woman. A session-by-session protocol outlines how to adapt CBT to meet the client’s coping preferences of spirituality, family, and community.

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