Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

An Exploratory Study of Black Female Clinicians' Experiences in Therapy with Black Male Adolescents
by Stewart, Erica Nicole, Psy.D., Rutgers The State University of New Jersey, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, 2019, 140; 13864873
Abstract (Summary)

Black male adolescents in America have experienced many challenges in recent years specific to their race and gender, particularly with regard to education, e.g., disproportionality in rates of school punishment and the achievement gap, as well as mass incarceration, racial profiling, and police shootings. Despite the serious nature of these realities, it is important to note that the literature has devoted little attention to issues facing clinicians, particularly Black female clinicians, working with this population. To add to the limited literature on same-race therapeutic dyads, this qualitative study explored Black female clinicians’ experiences treating Black male adolescents. Ten clinicians who had worked with Black male adolescents were interviewed. A qualitative research design analysis of their interviews was conducted using a Grounded Theory methodology (Corbin & Strauss, 2014). Key themes related to the treatment of Black male adolescents by Black female clinicians emerged, including (a) the importance of the therapeutic alliance and building rapport, such as showing curiosity about the adolescent’s interests and exhibiting a genuine, non-punitive therapeutic style; (b) emotional reactions of Black male adolescents toward Black female clinicians, including positive and negative emotions and maternal, sister, and aunt transferences toward the clinician; (c) emotional reactions of Black female clinicians toward Black male adolescents, including feelings of maternal countertransference, protectiveness, worry, and urgency about the clients’ risk factors; (d) challenges in treating Black male adolescents; (e) differences related to treatment settings; (f) differences between working with Black male adolescents and other adolescent populations, including Black females; and (g) supervision and training implications when treating Black male adolescents. Implications for future research indicated the need for additional qualitative and quantitative studies examining same-racial and cross-racial therapeutic dyads in the treatment of this population. Implications for clinicians and training suggested the need to attend to cultural considerations within the therapeutic dyad and in the supervisory relationship, the need to hire a diverse staff, the salience of a clinician’s “use of self” when treating Black male adolescents, and the value of consultation with other Black female clinicians.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Boyd-Franklin, Nancy
Commitee: Riggs-Skean, Karen
School: Rutgers The State University of New Jersey, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology
Department: Graduate School of Applied & Professional Psychology
School Location: United States -- New Jersey
Source: DAI-B 81/3(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Psychology, Clinical psychology, Counseling Psychology
Keywords: African American or Black, Black female clinicians, Black male adolescents, Maternal countertransference, Same-race therapeutic dyads, Therapeutic alliance
Publication Number: 13864873
ISBN: 9781088316313
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