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the unique stresses and cultural aspects that affect immigrants and refugees

Eisenbruch in his work with Southeast Asian refugees, devised a cultural bereavement interview as a means to help with the validity of the diagnostic interview, clarify the “structure” of the grief reaction, and start the process of healing for the affected individuals. The interview takes into account the language and cultural constructs of the bereaved individual. During the interview, the clinician explores the following: a) memories of family, based on the construct of thoughts and perceptions of the past; b) continuing experience of family and the past, including ghosts and spirits, based on the construct of communication with the past; c) dreams, guilt, clarity of recall of the past and structuring of the past in the homeland, based on the construct of survivor guilt; d) experiences of death, based on the construct of the violence of separation or death and the absence of leave-taking; and e) response to separation from homeland, based on the construct of anger and ambivalence The cultural bereavement interview incorporates exploration of religious belief and practice, stressing the importance of ‘traditional’ treatments in the bereaved immigrant population. As noted above and continuing Schreiber’s notion, the collaboration of the Western psychiatrist with a traditional healer can represent for affected individuals the best treatment approach, which is one that embraces and integrates the non-Western belief system when using Western psychiatric approaches.