Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Countertransference (Psychology), Collectivism-Psychological aspects, Psychotherapy-Cross-cultural studies, Foreign born clinicians from collectivist cultures, Ethnocultural countertransference amoung foreign born clinicians, Collectivist-oriented clinicians and countertransference, Cultural influences that motivate ethnocultural countertransference, Foreign born clinicians and motivations of countertransference, Theoretical


This theoretical thesis explores the phenomenon of the collectivist-oriented clinician and the cultural influences that motivate countertransference while working with clients in the United States. This project explores the cultural influence of difference in the cultural orientations of the clinician, and the clients' in two internship placements as contexts of the work in the United States. The cultural experiences in the dyad are related to differences in the issues of sense of self, differentiation, separation-individuation, autonomy, and self-determination. In particular, these influencing cultural differences are analyzed through structural drive theory and relational theory. Ethnocultural countertransference literature (Comas-Diaz and Jacobsen) informing the influencing experiences of ethnicity and culture on diverse dyads is also discussed. Additionally, cultural differences are discussed through the literature on the individualism-collectivism orientation framework. Through this exploration and analysis, drive theory and relational theory's concept of intersubjectivity are offered as important in informing clinical work for the collectivist-oriented clinicians practicing in the United States. An adaptive idea of horizontal individualism as a compromise, from which collectivist-orientated clinicians may practice while embracing their bicultural identities, is offered. Implications for clinical social work practice concerning the need to increase social work students' cultural competence are presented.




v, 63 pages. Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, 2014. Includes bibliographical references (pages 61-63)