525 – Working with Cross-Cultural Couples

Unexplored Issues in Therapy
Kirsten Lind Seal

In the United States, 1 in 6 new marriages is interethnic or interracial. Today’s therapists need to be equipped to help cross-cultural couples not only navigate the usual intimacy and communication concerns, but also address issues of identity, privilege and cultural differences, which are often ignored in traditional couples therapy. To do this well, and enhance our therapeutic effectiveness, we must examine our own blind spots and biases around race and culture. In this workshop, you’ll explore:

  • The issues most often encountered with cross-cultural couples, such as an uneven awareness of privilege and the hidden relational impact of cultural assumptions and values
  • How to help couples name and navigate their differences by exploring conflicting cultural norms around gender roles and couple formation
  • Interventions designed specifically to treat cross-cultural couples, including attending to pacing to ensure full language comprehension, and validating the partner’s more marginalized experiences of racism


Note: This workshop fulfills many state board requirements for training in cultural competency.

Kirsten Lind Seal, PhD, is a marriage and family therapist and an adjunct assistant professor of MFT at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. She appears as a regular contributor on Relationship Reboot, a weekly segment on WCCO (CBS) TV’s Midmorning show.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Kirsten Lind Seal is in private practice.
Non-financial: Kirsten Lind Seal has no relevant non-financial relationship to disclose.

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