Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy


Education, Educational Leadership & Policy Studies

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

E. Paulette Isaac-Savage, EdD.


Angela Coker

Talmadge C. Guy,

Virginia Navarro


As a result of the plight of some African-American men, changes are needed to improve the US mental health system’s curriculum and practices in order to produce sustainable positive outcomes culturally-relevant therapy is key to addressing the needs of this under serviced population. Afrocentric psychotherapy provides one promising culturally relevant framework to address the needs of African-American men clinically. The purpose of this study was to explore and observe a culturally-relevant curriculum in action and, more specifically, to document perceived affects derived from using an Afrocentric curriculum with African-American men in therapy through a series of in-depth interviews and observations. The participants included eight African-American men who were active or had successfully completed Afrocentric therapy at a center in a large metropolitan area in the Midwestern United States as well as two therapists. Four concepts emerged from this study: African Consciousness or Black Consciousness, WE or Group Self-Awareness, Spirituality as a Therapeutic Process, and Ontology of Self-hatred and Internalized Racism. Therefore, the use of Afrocentric curriculum in the therapeutic setting is critical in helping African-American men to be keenly aware of self, culture, self-hatred, and the history of their oppression, which is essential for success.

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