A person's reality and definition of self are socially constructed; ethnicity is integrally involved in this process. Clinical work is successful if the client constructs a self with a sense of positive self-esteem and empowerment. The profession views social workers' use of self as important in successful clinical work, especially with clients ethnically different from themselves. This article provides a framework adapted from a constructivist perspective for the clinician's skillful use of self in therapeutic discourse. The framework consists of five stances the clinician can use in transcending the discomfort he or she may experience in a cross-cultural clinical situation. Use of these stances facilitates clients' ethnic validation, which is essential to positive therapeutic outcomes. This article uses case examples to illustrate the use of the framework.
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