Culturally sensitive social work practice with Arab clients in mental health settings

Alean Al-Krenawi, John R. Graham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

345 Scopus citations


Several culturally specific practical considerations should inform social work interventions with ethnic Arab peoples in Arab countries or in Western nations. These include taking into account gender relations, individuals' places in their families and communities, patterns of mental health services use, and, for practice in Western nations, the client's level of acculturation. Such aspects provide the basis for specific guidelines in working with ethnic Arab mental health clients. These include an emphasis on short-term, directive treatment; communication patterns that are passive and informal; patients' understanding of external loci of control and their use of ethnospecific idioms of distress; and, where appropriate, the integration of modern and traditional healing systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-22
Number of pages14
JournalHealth and Social Work
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2000


  • Arab ethnic origin
  • Cross-cultural studies
  • Ethnic minority groups
  • Mental health care
  • Practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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