Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A study of counseling process using critical qualitative methods: A focus on caring in a cross -cultural dyad between a White male therapist and a Korean national female client
by Hwang, Bong Joo, Ph.D., Indiana University, 2008, 299; 3307570
Abstract (Summary)

The concept of caring has been neglected in the field of counseling psychology despite the intuitive importance of this construct for counseling process and outcome. Related concepts, such as Rogers's three facilitative conditions for therapeutic change, have been frequently studied, but they also may not fully capture what some authors describe as caring. This investigator proposes that caring is likely a common factor for successful therapy outcome regardless of theoretical orientations and that a study of caring expression (and the lack thereof) in cross-cultural therapy can shed light on the value of this common factor on counseling process and outcome.

This dissertation study was conducted to investigate how caring occurs in a cross-cultural counseling dyad as evidenced in 12 consecutive weekly sessions between a White male counselor and a Korean female international student. The three questions posed in the research are: (1) whether the therapist acts in ways to communicate caring and, if so, how?, (2) how does the client respond to the therapist's displays of caring?, and (3) how does the therapist's caring change over the course of counseling?

Critical qualitative research methods were applied for the research study. In particular, reconstructive analysis which is an approach advanced by Carspecken (1996) was used to generate a horizon of possible meanings or meaning fields, thus lending to interpretation of the therapy discourse.

The results of the data analysis indicate that the therapist used various tactics of caring consistently over the course of therapy. The exchange of caring expression appeared to be important in establishing trust and a bond within the relationship. The most frequently used therapist caring tactics include (a) communication of understanding of the client, (b) validation/appreciation/praise of the client, and (c) self-disclosure. The client's most frequently used caring tactics are (a) caring laughter, (b) affirmative responses to praise, and (c) appreciation/validation of the therapist's statements. The results also show that therapist's lack of general and multicultural counseling competences could have dampened the effects of the caring behavior exchange between therapist and client. This investigator presents recommendations for future research on caring relative to multiculturalism.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Thompson, Chalmer E.
School: Indiana University
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 69/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Bilingual education, Multicultural education, Academic guidance counseling
Keywords: Caring, Counseling, Cross-cultural dyad, Korean, Male therapist, Women students
Publication Number: 3307570
ISBN: 978-0-549-56517-8
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