Publication Date

2015

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Department

School for Social Work

Keywords

Cross-cultural counseling, Psychotherapist and patient, Race, Therapeutic alliance, Qualitative research, Racism, Cross-racial therapy, Self-disclsure, Racial identity development, Blacks-Race identity, Black client, White therapist

Abstract

This qualitative study explores how White clinicians engage in dialogue about race in cross-racial therapy with Black clients. Open-ended survey questions were used to gather narrative data from 12 White clinicians who have conducted therapy with Black clients. The central question of this research study is: when, how and why do White clinicians engage in dialogue about race in cross-racial therapy with Black clients? The study investigates how White clinicians think about their choices to broach the subject of race and their perceptions of the therapeutic alliance as it relates to conversations about race and racial difference. It also explores White clinicians' motivations regarding not broaching the subject of race, why they choose not to broach and how they perceive this choice as impacting the therapeutic alliance. The study found that the White clinicians surveyed made a variety of choices regarding talking about race in therapy with their Black clients. While all clinicians surveyed felt it is important to talk about race in therapy, the findings revealed important differences in the choices they made as to how, when and why to talk about race in therapy with Black clients. These clinical decisions reflect a range of practices and beliefs including whether to take responsibility for broaching the subject of race, when in the process of therapy to broach the subject of race, and whether to talk about one's own race in the therapy. This range of responses reflects a significant disparity in clinical practice and raises concerns about quality of clinical treatment for Black clients working with White clinicians. The implications of these findings for clinical practice and training are discussed.

Language

English

Comments

iii, 72 pages. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2015. Includes bibliographical references (pages 59-64)