Locating culture in experiences of therapy : accounts of Asian women

2014-12-15T10:46:32Z (GMT) by Jo-Anne Constantia. Scordellis
Prior research suggests that people from ethnic-minority groups, in the UK, are under-represented in their use of mainstream psychotherapy services. This finding includes women of south-Asian origin. Recent epidemiological studies have suggested that while Asian women's use of psychotherapy services remains low, their incidence of self-harm and parasuicide behaviours, in the UK, are on the increase. This suggests that these women are not accessing help for psychological distress even though such distress in present. One prevalent idea for why this may be is that mainstream models of psychotherapy practice remain euro-centric and are therefore experienced as either irrelevant or incongruent with the values and experiences of Asian women. However, there has been little research to directly access the individual accounts of Asian women who have experienced therapy. Through the use of a grounded theory methodology this study elicits and analyses such accounts.;It reports findings from six Asian women who were being seen for therapy. The aim of this study was to consider the potential role of self-described cultural identity within experiences of therapy.;Participants highlighted the importance of culture in their understanding of their psychological distress, their routes into, and experiences of therapy. Accounts of the role of culture were both complex and diverse and this study does not offer simplistic conclusions for how models of therapy can become more inclusive. Rather, the findings are used to inform service development and to argue for broader approaches to culture within models of psychotherapy practice and research. Culture should be reflected upon in practice and be given more consideration than mainstream models may accord it, however these accounts emphasises that therapists should work from clients' individual understandings, experiences and needs.




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