Daniel Gaztambide on Alliance Rupture Repair as Cultural Competency

One way an acquaintance of mine, Daniel Gaztambide, (2012) approaches cultural competence is by integrating the research on alliance rupture repair with relational psychoanalytic perspectives. He asks us to go beyond declarative knowledge of differing cultures and into a space wherein we begin attending to the ways interpersonal processes are embedded within larger sociocultural milieus. In this way, “cultural competence becomes not just a matter of learning about the “other,” but about questioning our relationship to the other, critically examining the self that takes this other as “other,” and becoming aware of our implication in the other’s suffering” (p. 5). He closes with Neil Altman’s instructive words: our first step as therapists is to become aware of our own discomfort and avoidance around cultural difference. This is “an indispensible first step in tuning into the extremely problematic aspects of the unconscious interaction, which by virtue of their very unacceptability become of the highest importance… If we do not confront such feelings in ourselves, we do not stand a chance of being able to process such interactions therapeutically, in words and in action.”

Gaztambide, Daniel J. “Addressing cultural impasses with rupture resolution strategies: A proposal and recommendations.” Professional Psychology: Research and Practice 43.3 (2012): 183-189.



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