Ethnic minority clients' perceptions of the significance of race in cross-racial therapy relationships

Doris F. Chang, Patricia Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In this consensual qualitative research study, 23 ethnic minority clients were interviewed to assess perceptions of race in their recent therapy with a White therapist. Participants' responses were coded into an average of seven (out of 22) categories. The majority believed that White therapists could not understand key aspects of their experiences and subsequently avoided broaching racial/cultural issues in therapy. However, many felt that racial differences were minimized if the therapist was compassionate, accepting, and comfortable discussing racial, ethnic and/or cultural (REC) issues. A subgroup expressed positive expectancies of racial mismatch, and perceived disadvantages associated with racial matching. Results suggest that participants' constructions of race are multidimensional and support recommendations that therapists acquire skills for addressing racial perceptions that may impact the therapy relationship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)567-582
Number of pages16
JournalPsychotherapy Research
Volume21
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2011

Keywords

  • Alliance
  • Culture and psychotherapy
  • Qualitative research methods
  • Racial/ethnic minorities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology

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