How do we listen to Ahmed’s stories in the field of transcultural psychiatry?

As immigration in Denmark grows, more patients in the Danish mental health services have an ethnic background different from the ordinary Danish. For the therapist this can be a challenge. Often Ahmed tells cultural stories which can make us confused and insecure. But Ahmeds stories preset an opportunity to give us a better understanding of him and his stituation. To make this happen we have to make room for the stories and listen to them. The narrative apporach offers a particularly emphasis on the story and this is especially applicable in the field of trans-cultural psychiatry. But what constitutes this field? Do we need any particular awareness when we see either Ahmed in the mental health setting or we meet with Said in the psychological consultancy? Why don’t we just treat Ahmed and Said similar to the way we treat Peter?

Keywords: Transcultural psychiatry, ethnic minorities and mental health, perception of mental health, cultural competence, PTSD, narrative approach