THERAPIST CHARACTERISTICS THAT FILIPINO AMERICANS PERCEIVE AS SALIENT FACTORS IN EFFECTIVE PSYCHOTHERAPY. INTRODUCTION Why I became interested in this study. SIGNIFICANCE.
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Why I became interested in this study
Suicidal behavior is found to be prevalent among teen age Filipino Americans. One study approximated as high as 45% of Filipino American teenage girls as having seriously contemplated suicide (Wolf, 1997), which is considerably higher than the suicidal ideation of the general adolescent age group-24% of females and 14% of males (Sanchez & Gaw, 2007).
A study conducted on Filipino Americans diagnosed with schizophrenia found that they more commonly exhibited greater violent behavior, more bizarre behavior, and more profound delusions of persecution and delusion of grandeur than Japanese Americans diagnosed with schizophrenia (Enright & Jaeckle, 1963).
“She's very soft spoken and you feel comfortable with her right away as soon as you start your session with her.”
Rogers (1951) asserted that having an unconditional positive regard for the client is essential in any therapeutic endeavor-whether in individual, couples, family or group therapy.
Faber (2007) acknowledged that therapist of various persuasions, for instance behaviorists and cognitive behavior therapists concede that positive regard facilitates the use of technical interventions.
Bordin (1979, 1984) describes alliance as “a conscious, collaborative relationship between the client and the therapist.”
Existing research correlates with the findings in this study which states that therapeutic alliance has been determined to be positively correlated with treatment efficacy in various modes of therapy, whether it is individual therapy for cocaine abuse (Glazer, Galanter, Megwinoff, Dermatis, & Keller, 2003),
Furthermore Horvath and Symonds (1991) revealed that based on 24 clinical studies involving diverse forms of individual therapy, alliance was credited for 26% of the variance when looking at results, inferring that alliance is a noteworthy predictor of individual therapy outcome (Horvath, 2001)
If age were to be equated with experience, expertise and competence, several authors (Christensen & Jacobson, 1994; Tallman& Bohart, 1999) reported the counterintuitive and somewhat dismal finding that the impact of added experience on outcome is weak at best.
Although there may be some discrepancy in the definition of multicultural competency across disciplines, Bean et al. (2002) and Sue et al. (1992) state multicultural competence is universally construed as involving three main facets:
This is underscored by Tseng (2004) who related that every culture has its unique prescription of what comprises a suitable client-therapist relationship and that therapists who are unfamiliar with the world view of Asian Americans may experience “hostility, frustration, and failure during therapy” which may lead to unfavorable outcomes and potential harm to the client.
Previous evidence driven investigations (Norcross, 2001, 2002), identify treatment efficacy and favorable outcomes in psychotherapy, as a result of the therapeutic relationship
Gurman and Kniskern (1978)stated that: “The ability of the therapist to establish a positive relationship with his or her clients, long a central issue of individual therapy, receives the most consistent support as an important outcome-related therapist factor in marital-family therapy”
Wampold (2001) concludes that it is the individual who provides the treatment in psychotherapy that is actually far more potent than the specific type of treatment.
In general, Filipino Americans are proud individuals who are exceptionally sensitive to criticism and negative feedback (Nadal, 2009). Therefore, it may be helpful to deliver comments, suggestions, recommendations, in a respectful and sensitive manner to maintain rapport and motivation.
It is beneficial for the therapist to gain the client’s trust and sense of indebtedness as it may increase the likelihood of treatment compliance Cimmarusti, (1996).
Nadal (2009) recommends positioning oneself within one to two feet from the client, and avoiding sustained eye contact, as this may be perceived as intimidating, encroaching, and possibly provoking
Filipino Americans may invite their therapists to attend social functions as a way of conveying appreciation and strengthening the therapeutic bond (Root,1997).