Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Learning from Therapy Clients in México and the United States: Shedding Light on the Professional World of Bicultural Hispanic Psychotherapists
by Hinojosa, Claudia, Ph.D., Fielding Graduate University, 2018, 187; 10828907
Abstract (Summary)

The lessons that psychologists acquire from their work with their clients has been somewhat overlooked in psychological research. Following the initial study of Hatcher et al. (2012), and the related investigation of Smith (2012), this cross-cultural investigation explores the narratives of psychologists who practice in different cultures with regard to their learning from clients. American, Mexican American, and psychologists from México participated in this study. This investigation has a tripartite objective as it seeks to expand the understanding of: (a) what psychologists learn from their work with clients across nine different areas: life lessons, relationships, ethical dilemmas, coping mechanisms, courage, personality styles and psychopathology, cultural differences, life stages and general wisdom; (b) to explore emic themes that reflect values, dimensions, professional experiences, and realities of therapists who work with bicultural Hispanic clients; and (c) to shed light on cross-cultural similarities and differences that emerge between the three groups. Participants were presented with semi-structured interviews that were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using qualitative thematic analysis. Altogether, the analysis of the three groups found nearly more similarities than differences. Broadly, these results suggest that working with psychotherapy clients across different nations, cultures, or Spanish/English languages provides more universal than local wisdom. Culturally, American psychologists voiced themes representing individualism, multicultural awareness, and ideas for working with non-western clients. Both psychologists in México and Mexican Americans brought forth themes representing familismo, marianismo, personalismo, and religion. Mexican American narratives are distinctive for containing Hispanic bicultural, intersectionality, and México-America borderland themes. The responses of psychologists in México and Americans were the most similar, while the narratives of Mexican American psychologists were most different. This key finding might be explained by observing that bicultural individuals likely have a greater number of expectations and beliefs to consider than unicultural peoples.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hatcher, Sherry L.
Commitee: Cramer, Margaret A., Harway, Michele, Valdez, Jesse
School: Fielding Graduate University
Department: The School of Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 79/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Therapy, Cultural anthropology, Counseling Psychology
Keywords: Bicultural Hispanic psychotherapy, Cultural differences, Learning from clients, Mexican American psychology, Mexican psychology, Therapist development
Publication Number: 10828907
ISBN: 978-0-438-28707-5
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