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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Apologizing after Microaggressions: The Influence on Client Perceptions of Therapists
by Overstreet, Abigail Kolleen, M.A., Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, 2018, 62; 10808072
Abstract (Summary)

If a therapist does something that offends a client, should the therapist apologize? What if the offensive act is an ethnic or racial microaggression? The first question—regarding the potential uses of apology by therapists in general, has received very little attention from researchers. Thirty years ago, Goldberg (1987) discussed the topic and suggested that the use of apology by a therapist was unnecessary unless the therapist made a blatant, objective error such as overcharging the client. To the researchers’ knowledge past discussions of therapist apology have not addressed the notion of microaggressions or even multicultural psychology more broadly. The purpose of the current empirical study is to address that issue by measuring perceptions of a therapist who does, or does not, apologize after committing an ethnic/racial microaggression toward a client.

Participants will read one of six vignettes, developed with guidance from Sue (2010), and respond to survey questions immediately following. The researchers hypothesize that vignettes that portray the therapist apologizing after the microaggression will elicit more favorable attitudes about the therapist than comparable vignettes that include the microaggression with no apology. It is also speculated that the control condition (no microaggression is committed) will elicit more favorable attitudes toward the therapist than either condition in which a microaggression is committed.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Pomerantz, Andrew M.
Commitee: Ro, Eunyoe, Segrist, Dan J.
School: Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
Department: Clinical Psychology
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: MAI 57/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Psychology, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Apology, Counseling, Microaggressions, Multicultural, Psychotherapy
Publication Number: 10808072
ISBN: 978-0-438-01507-4
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