Extending the Multicultural Orientation (MCO) Framework to Group Psychotherapy: A Clinical Illustration

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Multicultural group work has received growing attention over the past two decades; however, there is a lack of conceptual frameworks to guide therapists’ cultural processes within group therapy at present. As such, we extend the multicultural orientation (MCO) to group therapy in an effort to provide a conceptual framework for group therapists to effectively engage multicultural group work. The MCO framework was developed in an effort to operationalize therapists’ cultural processes of cultural humility, cultural comfort, and cultural opportunity. Although the MCO framework has been empirically tested within an individual psychotherapy context, application to alternative therapeutic modalities is needed. Given the inherent multicultural nature of group therapy and calls for group therapist to be culturally competent in the delivery of group-based services, we extend the MCO framework to the practice of group therapy. In this article, we provide a rationale for the application of the MCO framework to the practice of group therapy, and illustrate how group therapists’ cultural humility, comfort, and opportunities can assist in establishing a multicultural group orientation throughout the development of the group.

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