The phenomenological experience of cross-cultural differences in the therapeutic relationship

Update item information
Publication Type dissertation
School or College College of Education
Department Educational Psychology
Author Asbrand, James Patrick
Title The phenomenological experience of cross-cultural differences in the therapeutic relationship
Date 2012-05
Description The therapeutic relationship has been a cornerstone of the theory and practice psychotherapy since it first emerged as a healing modality. Evidence of the power of the therapeutic relationship between client and therapist has been extensively reported. Despite the recent emphasis on multicultural awareness and competency in psychotherapy, an important question remains regarding the impact of cross-cultural differences on the therapeutic relationship. Using a phenomenological qualitative methodology, his study examined the lived experience of both clients and therapists in a cross-cultural therapeutic relationship. The results of the 26 participant interviews representing 13 distinct client/therapist pairs with one or more cross-cultural difference yielded two areas of phenomenological description with several themes and subthemes. In Part I, Experience of Relationship, participants described the lived experience of the therapeutic relationship from the initial referral process and development of the trust to the various factors that contributed to developing and strengthening their relationships, including past experiences, initial expectations, behaviors and attitudes that facilitated trust, a sense of mutual commitment, and sincere emotional connection. Four major subthemes were identified in Part I: Referral and Initial Impressions, Development of Therapeutic Relationship, Shared Investment, and Emotional Connection. In Part II, Experience of Differences, participants described the phenomenological experience of meaningful differences between clients and therapists in the same therapy pair, including their awareness of differences, how differences impacted personal identity and the therapy relationship, similarities in their relationships, and the intersection of power and identities in the relationship. In this part, four main themes also emerged: Dimensions of Identity, Differences as Enhancing the Relationship, Building on Common Ground, and Power and Responsibility. Conclusions of the study are considered in terms of limitations and implications for future research, practice, training and social justice.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Cross-cultural differences; Multicultural counseling; Psychotherapy; Qualitative; Therapeutic relationship
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Dissertation Name Doctor of Philosophy
Language eng
Rights Management Copyright © James Patrick Asbrand 2012
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 1,070.090 Bytes
Identifier etd3/id/3511
ARK ark:/87278/s6wh5z8t
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2015-05-21
Date Modified 2017-05-09
ID 197064
Reference URL