Asian women's mental distress : its relationship to culture, beliefs & engagement with services
This thesis is submitted in partial fulfilment of the regulations for the degree of Doctor of
Clinical Psychology (Clin. Psy. D. ) at the School of Psychology, University of Birmingham. It
comprises both research and written examples of applied clinical work carried out during the
course of training.
Volume I contains the research component of the degree, which consists of two related
papers (prepared for submission to appropriate journals). The first paper reviews the
literature in relation to possible explanations for why Asian women may be particularly
vulnerable to mental distress, as it is well recognised that this group are at high risk of both
attempted and completed suicide in the UK. This paper has been prepared for submission to
Transcultural Psychiatry (see Appendix 8 for Notes for Contributors). The second paper is
an empirical study that compares causal beliefs about mental distress between Asian and
British white women and explores the relationship between beliefs, acculturation,
engagement with therapy services and mental health gains. This paper has been prepared
for submission to the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (see Appendix 8 for Notes for
contributors). Finally, the public domain briefing paper (see Appendix 1) provides an
overview of the empirical paper and was used to disseminate the main findings.
Volume II of this thesis contains the clinical component of the degree and consists of five
clinical practice reports which were completed during placements within different specialties.
The first report formulates the case of a 14 year old girl following bereavement experiences
from cognitive and systemic perspectives. The second report is a service evaluation of an
anxiety management group for adults. The third report is a case study of a 71 year old
woman with a history of psychotic depression, detailing the formulation (using a
psychodynamic perspective), intervention based on life review therapy and outcome. The
fourth report adopts a single case experimental design to evaluate the effectiveness of an
individual anger management programme with a woman with mild learning disabilities. The
final report is an abstract summarising an orally presented case study of a man with anxiety
and depression following testicular cancer.