Sameness and difference in therapy
There has been much anecdotal and theoretical material concerning the impact of `race' on therapy in Britain, especially with regards to therapeutic outcomes. The three studies presented in this thesis empirically investigated the notion that premature termination in counselling, and apparently shorter duration of therapeutic treatment, amongst British Black clients is a function of lack of ethnic matching with a Black counsellor; and that racial identity attitudes may help provide some light on this attendance pattern of Black people. Results from SGlindicated that Black people had an appropriate appreciation of the uses and benefits of counselling; that over two-thirds of Black individuals would consider receiving counselling for their problems; and, when asked directly, a statistically significant amount of Black respondents stated that if they were to see a counsellor, they would prefer to see a racially similar counsellor. However, when `race' was not mentioned, this preference was not significant. Analysis of archival material of former clients ('SG2'), did not find a significant difference between Black and White samples in teens of premature termination of counselling or with regards to length of treatment. Similarly, no significant difference was found in terms of dropout rates between those Black clients who were ethnically matched with a Black counsellor and those who were not. The RIAS revealed low item reliability for the British sample in SG3. It was concluded that counsellors should take account of the heterogeneous nature of `Black' people as a group and not automatically presume that a Black client will prefer a Black counsellor, but to explore this with each Black client. Other implications for therapists are considered and recommendations for further research are made.