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Culture and the therapeutic relationship: Perspectives from Chinese clients

Jim, J; Pistrang, N; (2007) Culture and the therapeutic relationship: Perspectives from Chinese clients. Psychotherapy Research , 17 (4) pp. 461-473. 10.1080/10503300600812775. Green open access


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Chinese people in the United Kingdom and United States underuse mental health services and, when they do seek help, may find that therapy does not meet their needs. In response to calls in the literature for naturalistic studies of therapy with people of Chinese background, this study used a qualitative, multiple-case approach to examine clients' individual experiences in depth and detail. Semistructured interviews were conducted with eight Chinese clients. The aim was to investigate how culture might play a role in the therapeutic relationship. Qualitative analysis yielded four key themes concerning clients' and therapists' awareness of culture and how this impacted their working relationship: "Cultural encapsulation", "cultural formulation", "cultural liberation", and "culture is not important." Although participants' perceptions of therapy showed similarities to those reported by clients of European American descent, culture entered into the therapeutic relationship in complex and diverse ways. The findings have implications for delivering culturally sensitive therapies.

Type: Article
Title: Culture and the therapeutic relationship: Perspectives from Chinese clients
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/10503300600812775
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/2495

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