For example, different interpretations of psychological disturbances cross-culturally should be considered. Depression may have a different meaning for men and for women within one ethnic group and if those groups differ ethnically then the differences may be even more substantial.
As provided in the previous posts, one must be very aware of the particular cultural elements of the community in which you are doing your group therapy. One must not transmit a generalization of an understanding of any group. Each community is unique and those nuances of the communities culture must be in the therapists awareness prior to any group interaction.
I would also like endorse Don's contribution and add to also be mindful of generalizing the cultural norms of a group to an individual. For example, children who grow up in orphanages and similar homes are frequently socialized outside of their ethnic groups, so their orientation would be quite different to expected cultural norms of their original parents. In the latter case, you make no cultural assumptions and respect the individual's cultural norms.
I totally agree with all the comments raised above. I would pay particular attention to the so-called "idioms of distress" - and member's explanatory models of health and illness. I'd be also very cautious with simple logistical adaptations that need to be made, such as gender rules (should one have mix or same-sex groups for instance?). I'm attaching a study conducted in Uganda describing the cultural adaptation of IPT for depressed adults. Hope this helps.
I certainly agree with the contributions above and I think it important for the therapist to make him or herself aware of the groups notions about mental illness which may be very different from our own. In my work with uneducated rural Vietnamese, many patients believed that mental illness was the result of spirit invasion of the individual. They preferred to receive medicine rather than talk therapy. However, it was also typical that a family member was assigned the task of caring for a seriously ill person, whom we would diagnose as schizophrenic, and that caretaker would be relieved of all other duties except that priority. However, each patient was different and generalizations were possibly misleading. So it was incumbent on the therapist to attempt to determine as much about each individual as possible, just as one might do with a Western patient.
A study of 100 consecutive persons who terminated, once a week, psychoanalytically oriented group psychotherapy shows that it is an effective treatment for neurotic persons with good ego strength who remain in therapy a year or longer. Analytically oriented group therapy was less effective in treating severely ego-impaired persons, and group member...
*25.8.1896 in Breslau
†17.1.1986 in London
Einer der Pioniere bzw. Klassiker der analytischen Gruppenpsychotherapie (Gruppenanalyse); begründete den Ansatz „analytische Gruppentherapie nach dem Familienmodell“; Schüler und Lehranalysand von Wilhelm Stekel.