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Title: Moving with the times? : clinical psychologists' views of cultural diversity : reflections on fear and uncertainty
Author: Myatt, Helen
ISNI:       0000 0001 3438 5402
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2003
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There has not only been a lack of research in this area but also a trend towards pathologising those from minority ethnic backgrounds. Research has focussed on the black rather than the white and the client rather than the therapist. Some have argued for a paradigm shift within psychology, to place more emphasis on cultural factors, (Hong and Chiu 2001). However, others have stressed that emphasising difference creates an in-group, making difference a problem, (Reicher 1999). 10 clinical psychologists representing various levels of qualification, experience and interests were interviewed. Recorded interviews were transcribed and analysed using a grounded theory approach, (Strauss and Corbin 1997). The central theme of the data was uncertainty and fear of making mistakes. Due to the sensitivity of the topic, psychologists were afraid to admit a lack of knowledge, for fear of being seen as politically incorrect. In order to move forward with these issues, fear of not knowing needs to be reduced. Lack of knowledge should be accompanied by curiosity and seen as strength in cross cultural work. According to Wetherell et al (2001), versions of the world are seen as actively constructed through talk and categories of race are not fact but ideological constructions which become collectively shared. Analysis showed how language was used to support ambivalence and to justify a lack of responsibility and action. Clinical Psychologists employ discursive devices that serve to maintain the status quo and these are also representative of wider society. I think it is imperative that the profession is more aware of its own values; and how our discourse represents this, as being in the powerful position of therapist we may knowingly or unknowingly impose these values onto others. This area of research often attracts scrutiny and criticism. Yet, we should not VII allow this negative attention to deter future researchers and prevent the opportunity to develop our understanding in this area.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; HM Sociology